2015 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Jason Bailey

Jason Bailey

City, State: Washington, District of Columbia
Issue area: Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Housing/Homelessness
Sponsors: Norflet Progress Fund

The Project

Jason will address housing discrimination in Arkansas by providing direct representation, educating tenants, establishing and training a network of training advocates, and developing potential impact litigation.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Tenants in Arkansas are afforded few enforcement mechanisms to assert their fair housing rights. Arkansas is one of only two states that lack a private fair housing program to provide tenants with legal representation in state or federal administrative hearings or in court proceedings. As a result, many low-income tenants attempting to assert their fair housing rights must proceed on a pro se basis during the administrative process. This project will work to remedy the dearth of legal services available to low-income tenants in Arkansas who are facing housing discrimination.
The Right Person For This Project: 
Jason is the right person for the project because:
• Prior to law school, Jason was an investigator with the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission, where he developed a keen understanding of fair housing issues in Arkansas
• Throughout law school, Jason gained practical experience working on behalf of low-income individuals and communities with Legal Aid of Arkansas, the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the University of Arkansas Criminal Defense Clinic
• He is committed to combating housing discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity and went to law school to work on improving this issue
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship: 
In the first six months, Jason will:
• Build further expertise in relevant fair housing laws and identify low-income victims of housing discrimination in need of direct representation
• Develop training materials and provide educational seminars in communities with an especially high prevalence of housing discrimination complaints
• Develop and strengthen relationships between the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission and relevant social justice and legal aid organizations in Arkansas

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