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Olivia Jerjian

2016, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Olivia Jerjian

Olivia Jerjian

Name of Host Organization: Legal Counsel for the Elderly
City, State: Washington, District of Columbia
Issue area: Elderly
Sponsors: KPMG, Sidley Austin LLP

The Project

Advocate for elderly recipients of subsidized housing vouchers living in Washington, DC who are at risk of eviction and homelessness due to their landlords' failure to comply with housing standards.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Seniors in Washington, DC are increasingly at risk of becoming homeless. The DCHA voucher program caps rent at 30 percent of the tenant's income and provides the landlord a subsidy for the remaining rent, but terminates its subsidy if the unit fails inspection due to a landlord's failure to act. Tenants are then forced to move out or pay market-price rent with the risk of being sued. This project will work to prevent the unnecessary displacement of low-income seniors who have housing vouchers.
The Right Person For This Project
Olivia is the right person for the project because:
• She gained experience working with tenants in DC through internships at Legal Counsel for the Elderly and Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
• She has a longstanding commitment to advocating for low-income seniors
• She has consistently worked with non-English speaking immigrants through her internships and clinical work and speaks fluent French and proficient Spanish