Photo of Eva Sikes

Eva Sikes

  • Hosted by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc.
  • Sponsored by Texas Access to Justice Foundation
  • Service location Brownsville, Texas
  • Law school The University of Texas School of Law
  • Issue area Consumer Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Eva combatted displacement and housing instability of low-income homeowners in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas through legal advocacy and outreach.

In the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas, many low-income communities construct their homes in colonias, neighborhoods which historically lacked basic infrastructure such as sanitation, electricity, and sidewalks. Homes in colonias likewise often lack the financial infrastructure needed to keep their inhabitants safe. Without better options available, many homeowners enter into high-risk purchasing agreements that can leave them vulnerable to foreclosure or with little to protect the equity they have paid into their homes over years. Eva’s project addressed these needs and increased housing stability for low-income homeowners through education on legal protections, advocacy through direct representation, and pro bono clinics.

Fellowship Highlights

During her Fellowship, Eva represented individuals in litigation and coordinated community legal clinics for clients in need of wills and property tax relief. Eva provided full representation to over 40 clients and brief services and/or advice to an additional 200 individuals. She coordinated five pro bono clinics with law student and attorney volunteers, serving 250 individuals. Through her trial advocacy, Eva halted wrongful evictions and foreclosures for homeowners in predatory financing agreements. She also brought affirmative litigation against manufactured home retailers for consumer law violations. In addition, Eva cleared title for over 30 homeowners. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Eva helped create a virtual clinic model for her host organization, including in the areas of estate planning and the creation of asset preservation documents.

Next Steps

Eva remains at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid now as a staff attorney. She continues to work on asset preservation for low-income homeowners, and broaden her work to other types of consumer law.

Media

Equal Justice Works Fellows Participate in 2019 Texas Poverty Law Conference

Eviction process begins again this month

Evictions expected to rise because of COVID-19 pandemic

BPUB advierte sobre estafas

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