Taylor Rumble

The Project

Taylor Rumble, hosted by Charleston Legal Access, will establish Housing Court in two South Carolina counties. Her Fellowship will fill a void in the legal field market where tenants facing eviction are consistently without legal representation. Taylor will collaborate with organizations across South Carolina to support tenants facing evictions through the legal process.

According to the South Carolina Justice Gap Report, in 2019, 99.7% of defendants in eviction cases were unrepresented. With the majority of landlords attending court with legal representation of their own, tenants are left at a disadvantage without legal representation at a crucial time in their life.

Fellowship Plans

Taylor will collaborate with local organizations to defeat barriers to legal representation in eviction hearings. By establishing Housing Court in at least two additional South Carolina counties, she will support tenants facing housing instability through the legal process. With so few tenants having legal representation, expanding Housing Court will enable historically unrepresented tenants to be represented by a pro bono attorney and will prevent families from losing their homes. This fair-minded change will help make eviction hearings an impartial playing field for both sides.

Living in a city with the highest eviction rate in the U.S. inspired Taylor to advocate for equal access to legal representation for those who are facing eviction and are at risk of losing their home. During law school, Taylor worked at a legal clinic with people experiencing homelessness and learned through their experiences how incredibly difficult it is to obtain or maintain employment, care for one’s health, and maintain family relationships without first establishing safe housing. As a foster parent, Taylor continues to see the damaging effects of evictions on family life and stability. Taylor’s desire to create lasting changes in her community led her to pursue this fellowship role.

Media

Meet the Fellows in Our 2022 Housing Justice Program

The most basic human needs are physiological (shelter, air, water, food, and sleep), I am honored to work with like-minded individuals through this fellowship to defeat barriers that families facing housing instability experience by expanding access to justice in the context of landlord-tenant law through Housing Courts.

Taylor Rumble /
2022 Housing Justice Program Fellow

The Project

Michelle (she/her/hers) will advocate for the passage of a Tenant Right to Counsel law in South Carolina to prevent eviction and displacement of low-income and African American households.  

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, South Carolina faced a long-term housing crisis, having the highest eviction rate in the U.S., nearly twice that of any other state, according to Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. There were more than 162,000 eviction filings in South Carolina in 2019. North Charleston is the nation’s number one eviction market: 16.5 in 100 renters were evicted in 2016, which equates to 10 evictions per day. Columbia, South Carolina is the eighth-worst in the nation, with 8.22 in 100 renters evicted. 

The state has few tenant rights and filing for eviction only requires five days’ notice and a $50 fee. As a result, South Carolina averaged 400 to 500 evictions a day from 2015 to 2019. 

Michelle’s career in public service motivates the marrying of her unique community development finance experience with the practice of law to represent community voices in championing public policy for racial and economic justice.

Fellowship Plans 

Michelle will work collaboratively to establish the infrastructure to support a statewide housing justice alliance, a tenant rights campaign, and a civil tenant-right to counsel law in South Carolina.  She will engage directly with tenants to address a root cause of poverty in the state by preventing evictions and the repercussions associated with those evictions. Additionally, she will seek to draw from and replicate aspects of the Equal Justice Works Housing Justice Program, which mobilized a cohort of Fellows to serve low-income individuals residing in Richmond, Virginia who experienced housing instability and involuntary displacement, particularly due to eviction.

Media

Michelle Mapp believes in public service

FOCUS: Charleston Law graduate wins prestigious fellowship

Michelle Mapp Selected for 2021 Alston & Bird Racial Justice Fund Equal Justice Works Fellowship

Michelle Mapp Awarded Prestigious 2021 Equal Justice Works Fellowship

As a direct descendant of South Carolina’s Gullah Geechee people, I believe I owe a debt to my ancestors and an obligation to my descendants to leave a more equitable and just South Carolina.

Michelle Mapp /
2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow