Photo of Hannah Adams

Hannah Adams

  • Hosted by Southeast Louisiana Legal Services
  • Sponsored by Norflet Progress Fund
  • Service location New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Law school Northeastern University School of Law
  • Issue area Housing/Homelessness, Medical-Legal Partnership
  • Fellowship class year 2015
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Hannah advocated for better health outcomes for New Orleans renters suffering from poor housing conditions through a medical-legal partnership involving representation, advocacy, and education.

Over a decade after Hurricane Katrina, tenants in New Orleans still suffer from serious health problems as a result of damage to their homes and substandard reconstruction. Eighty percent of New Orleans’ affordable housing stock was destroyed or damaged in the 2005 storms. Today, compared to the national average, rental units in New Orleans are more likely to have health-threatening maintenance issues. These conditions can lead to serious medical problems. This project addressed these tenants’ unmet legal and medical needs.

In the past two years, Hannah has:

  • Provided brief advice or referrals on rental housing-related legal issues to 169 low-income tenants.
  • Provided full representation to 334 low-income tenants experiencing housing instability or health-threatening housing conditions, including eviction, subsidy termination, and repair disputes with landlords.
  • Conducted trainings on renters’ rights in Louisiana for 150 tenants and 50 medical service providers.
  • Prepared and/or filed affirmative litigation for injunctive relief and/or damages due to habitability and repair issues in 7 cases, some in collaboration with pro bono counsel.
  • Prevented or delayed displacement of tenants from 2 subsidized apartment buildings due to the expiration of affordability-related deed restrictions or foreclosure.
  • Conducted advocacy with area public housing authorities on behalf of tenants living in health-threatening conditions.
  • Worked with community partners to address systemic issues that contribute to low-income tenants’ vulnerability to health-harming housing conditions.

What’s Next

Now that the fellowship is complete, Hannah continues her work as a Staff Attorney at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services with a focus on low-income seniors experiencing health-threatening housing instability and/or substandard living conditions.

Media

 

Angry renters targeted by 2020 presidential candidates: report

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Sponsor: The Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation

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Krista Selnau

Host: Legal Aid of Arkansas

Sponsor: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Walmart