Oshuteiya Emenike

  • Hosted by Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc.
  • Sponsored by The Florida Bar Foundation
  • Service location Miami, Florida
  • Law school University of Miami School of Law
  • Issue area Housing - Affordable Housing/Microfinance
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Teiya will represent tenants in Liberty City, a historically black neighborhood in the City of Miami with significant poverty, by preventing evictions and enforcing their right to safe and habitable housing.

Liberty City is a historically black neighborhood in Miami. Forty-seven percent of residents live below the poverty line, many in horrible conditions. Mold, mildew, and vermin are prevalent. Structural deficiencies make living conditions inhumane and unsanitary. Low-income tenants are often a small financial crisis away from being evicted. Tenants in private housing often cannot afford to move and fear retaliation from their landlords if they complain. Landlords are rarely held accountable for the horrid conditions. This place-based project will serve residents in Liberty City and improve their housing outcomes by defending evictions, challenging uninhabitable conditions, and preventing discrimination.

Teiya is the right person for the project because:

  • She grew up in a poor and marginalized community, and she personally identifies with the community she serves.
  • She consistently worked for tenants’ rights at Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. throughout law school.
  • She has worked for tenants’ rights in Liberty City while interning at Community Justice Project, Inc.
  • She received the Dean’s Certificate of Achievement for her work in the Tenants’ Rights Clinic at the University of Miami School of Law.

Fellowship Plans

In the first six months, Teiya will:

  • Meet with religious institutions as well as community and bar organizations to assess community needs and connect to the community.
  • Identify locations in Liberty City to conduct intake, ensuring that services are easily accessible for the residents.
  • Begin client intake at an accessible location in Liberty City.
  • Hold monthly community meetings to introduce this project to the residents, inform them of their rights, and identify community needs.
  • Create pro bono training materials, including presentations and information sheets, which could also be used in the monthly community meetings.
  • Evaluate potential cases and claims and provide legal assistance on housing-related matters to 20 tenants living in Liberty City.

My Equal Justice Works Fellowship has afforded me the opportunity to serve Liberty City, a low-income community of color in Miami, Florida. As a woman of color from a low-income background, I'm honored and very proud that my work impacts those with whom I identify.

Oshuteiya Emenike /
Equal Justice Works

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