Janae Craddock

The Project

Janae’s (she/her) Fellowship with Virginia Poverty Law Center will address the housing affordability crisis. Her work will focus on increasing affordable homeownership opportunities for low-income Virginians and traditionally marginalized communities. She will provide pro se tenants facing evictions with the knowledge and resources to represent themselves in court effectively, work with state officials to propose more robust tenant protections, and litigate landlord-tenant claims in court.

Virginia does not have a right to counsel in civil cases. To mitigate the impact of lack of counsel, Janae’s Fellowship will empower pro se tenants by providing legal education and information to fight eviction cases. This work will increase tenants’ engagement in the eviction process and potentially reduce the occurrence of default judgments. Janae will also collaborate with community organizations to identify and provide in-court representation to tenants whose cases illustrate the injustices that occur. Additionally, Janae’s will work to improve housing stability through partnerships to increase affordable housing.

Fellowship Plans

Janae will assist in developing an online self-help portal containing legal information and sample pleadings that pro se tenants can use to fight eviction cases. Furthermore, Janae plans to provide in-court representation to tenants whose cases highlight and challenge systematic practices. Additionally, Janae will collaborate with community partners to increase homeownership opportunities amongst low-income Virginians by devising a down payment assistance program.

“No matter who you are or where you come from, at some point in your life, you will need someone to advocate on your behalf. I consider it a privilege to be that advocate for the tenants of Virginia experiencing evictions and navigating the court system.”

Janae Craddock /
2023 Housing Justice Program Fellow