Laura Dobbs

  • Hosted by Virginia Poverty Law Center
  • Sponsored by Housing Justice Program
  • Service location Richmond, Virginia
  • Law school William & Mary School of Law
  • Issue area Housing/Homelessness
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Housing Justice Program

The Project

Housing stability is an endemic issues across Virginia and particularly in Richmond. Richmond has the second highest eviction rates in the country, which is attributable to landlord-tenant laws that provide tenants with relatively few rights when facing eviction, the lack of knowledge by tenants of those few right, and a lack of access to legal resources to fight evictions. The existing stock of affordable housing in the greater Richmond area is crumbling and/or expiring, and affordable housing tenants are routinely discriminated against on the basis of race, income, immigration status, and criminal records.

Using a community lawyering model, Laura will work with other Fellows and organizers to build networks within high eviction neighborhoods in the Greater Richmond area to assess the greatest housing needs, provide know your rights trainings, and refer clients to partner organizations for emergency legal assistance. In consultation with effected communities, Laura will develop and institute impact litigation to bring about systemic housing reform. Laura will also engage in housing policy advocacy to demand better state and local policies in how landlords bring eviction proceedings, appropriation of funds for public housing, and more.


Hana Hausnerova and Laura Dobbs column: What the end of Virginia’s eviction moratorium means for tenants

The Way Forward: Investing in Legal Representation for Tenants at Risk of Losing Their Home

Pandemic Lawyering: A Year in Review

The Justice Report: This one is about Evictions

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