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Headshot of Brandon Ballard

Brandon L. Ballard

  • Hosted by Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia
  • Sponsored by Housing Justice Program
  • Service location South Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Law school Elon University School of Law
  • Issue area Housing/Eviction
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Housing Justice Program

The Project

Brendan aims to connect client communities with the legal assistance they need to address the systemic problems plaguing our local housing markets.

Six of the top 15 U.S. cities with tracked evictions are within the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia (LASEV)’s service area. Several factors exacerbate this inability to maintain affordable housing, such as the local public housing authorities’ policy, which favors ‘shallow subsidies’ over ‘deep subsidies’ like project-based assistance. Although Housing Choice Vouchers provide more financial assistance, voucher recipients lack meaningful protections against abusive, unfair landlords and often only have access to poor, racially segregated areas.

In addition to the struggle to maintain affordable housing, tenant-screening practices, discrimination, the debilitation of affordable public and private housing, and other issues make it difficult for many to obtain access to affordable, safe housing in the first place.

Since starting his legal career at LASEV in June 2020, Brandon learned first-hand from clients how crucial safe, affordable housing is. He continues to derive inspiration from LASEV clients, whose tenacity in the face of adversity continues to fuel his desire to serve them.

Fellowship Plans

Brandon will collaborate with activists and organizations in the community to tackle systemic barriers to housing by providing direct, targeted legal services to a subsidized—or otherwise low-income—multifamily complex experiencing the issues outlined above. In addition to litigation, he seeks to empower tenants with the resources and knowledge they need to stand on equal footing with their landlords and will adjust his approach depending on community needs. Brandon plans to empower the community tby way of a tenant advocacy group, workshops, and door-to-door outreach.


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