Emily Coffey

  • Hosted by Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
  • Sponsored by AmeriCorps VISTA, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
  • Service location Chicago, Illinois
  • Issue area Housing - Affordable Housing/Microfinance
  • Fellowship class year 2015
  • Program AmeriCorps VISTA

The Project

Emily Coffey engages in community lawyering in partnership with community organizers and tenant leaders to preserve, maintain, and improve federally assisted housing in Illinois. She works to build the capacity of tenant associations and community organizations by educating and engaging leaders on their rights, responsibilities, and options in preserving and improving their communities.

Every year, project-based Section 8 contracts expire and HUD mortgages mature or are prepaid, placing thousands of units of affordable housing at risk. Additional units may be lost as a result of poor conditions. The project provides legal support to tenants and community organizers to preserve and improve these homes and ensures that tenants have a seat at the table when decisions about the future of their homes and communities are made.

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