Photo of Jesse Vogel

Jesse Vogel

  • Hosted by Legal Aid Society Of Columbus
  • Sponsored by Jones Day Foundation, Procter & Gamble Co.
  • Service location Columbus, Ohio
  • Law school Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law
  • Issue area Housing - Affordable Housing/Microfinance, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Jesse (he/him/his) will improve housing conditions and support immigrant empowerment through a community lawyering model, including outreach, education, leadership development, and litigation.

Columbus is one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the U.S., but people in poverty face a housing crisis. Among those most vulnerable are members of immigrant communities. Columbus has the largest Bhutanese-Nepali community and the second-largest Somali community of any city in the country. Just as the city is growing, so too are the number of immigrants and refugees.

Due to a shortage of affordable housing, many immigrants and refugees live in unsafe properties. Landlords fail to maintain safe and habitable conditions, subjecting tenants to massive water leaks, mold, pest infestations, failure to make regular repairs, and sometimes illegal rent hikes and unlawful evictions.

Jesse’s work with the Central Ohio Housing Action Network, a grassroots community law project he co-founded in May 2020, motivates his commitment to community partnerships for transformative change.

Fellowship Plans

During his Fellowship, Jesse will educate and empower immigrant populations to better understand and protect their rights by holding office hours in immigrant neighborhoods and hosting community meetings on tenants’ rights and housing issues in partnership with immigrant leaders. He will represent tenants in rent escrow and nuisance abatement actions to improve housing conditions and hold landlords accountable. Finally, he will protect housing stability by representing tenants in eviction defense.

Achieving safe and affordable housing for all takes more than litigation wins– my work with organizers has taught me it takes relationships of trust with those most affected.

Jesse Vogel /
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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