Gerard Murphy

The Project

Gerard was responsible for expanding the work of LAFLA’s Veterans Justice Center by providing direct legal services to veterans involving such issues as government benefits, employment matters, unemployment benefits, child support, and VA benefits; performing community outreach and staffing clinics; and identifying and managing cases for pro bono placement.

The Project

Natalie Minev is an Equal Justice Works attorney with the VISTA Affordable Housing Preservation Project (VAHPP). VAHPP aims to improve communities and preserve the long-term affordability of project-based Section 8 buildings in Los Angeles, through a holistic approach of legal advocacy, tenant organizing, and individual and organizational capacity building. Natalie leads substantive legal trainings, provides legal advice and counsel, and facilitates communication between project-based Section 8 tenants and owners around critical preservation, fair housing, and landlord-tenant issues.

VAHPP addresses the dearth of safe, healthy, and decent affordable housing in Los Angeles, the most unaffordable housing market in the nation. Over 27,000 project-based Section 8 units in the city of Los Angeles are at-risk of conversion to market rate rents due to impending expiration of project-based Section 8 contracts or HUD regulatory agreements within the next five years. VAHPP focuses on tenant organizing and legal capacity building to help low-income tenants, many of whom are elderly and disabled, protect their homes and livelihoods, as well as preserve the long-term affordability of their project-based Section 8 units.

Fellowship Highlights

During Natalie’s Fellowship, Natalie:

  • Built a deep and broad foundational knowledge about HUD regulations and guidelines, as well statutory and case law governing project-based Section 8 buildings
  • Developed and strengthened relationships with key housing agencies and affordable housing developers in Los Angeles that impact the preservation and affordability of project-based Section 8 buildings
  • Planned and executed know-your-rights clinics targeting project-based Section 8 tenants in neighborhoods with a critical mass of these types of properties.

The Project

Sheyda is an Equal Justice Works attorney with the VISTA Affordable Housing Preservation Project. VAHPP builds the capacity of tenant associations in project based section 8 HUD assisted properties in the city of Los Angeles to increase tenants’ knowledge of their rights, responsibilities, and options for preserving their homes and improving their communities. Specifically, VAHPP focuses on tenants living in properties with project based section 8 contracts where either: contracts are expiring within the next five years, owners want to prepay existing HUD mortgages or opt out of the project based section 8 program, or habitability issues are so severe, properties are at risk of abatement. As a part of the VISTA Affordable Housing Preservation Project, Sheyda helped to increase community knowledge of available affordable housing options in Los Angeles—a city where a quarter of households pay up to 50 percent of their income on rent.

Los Angeles continues to be one of the least affordable rental markets in the country, with ¼ of households spending 50% of their income on rent. VAHPP focuses on neighborhoods containing high numbers of properties that are at risk of losing subsidies. These communities are experiencing aggressive rates of displacement of poor, low-income, elderly, and disabled individuals and families due to rapid gentrification and transit-oriented development. By prioritizing these vulnerable neighborhoods, VAHPP will maximize its resources and capacity building impact to assist tenants in preserving their affordable housing.

Fellowship Highlights

During Sheyda’s Fellowship, Sheyda plans to:

  • Increased community knowledge about the different types of available affordable housing in Los Angeles and unique strategies to preserve project based Section 8 housing.
  • Established a sustainable legal clinic for project-based section 8 tenants to address both short term and long term preservation questions and concerns.
  • Developed tools to target project based section 8 buildings where tenants have received opt out notices, or owners have no plans to renew subsidies.

The Project

Raul worked to remove barriers to employment through post conviction relief. Clients have access to post conviction remedies in California. Through the various mechanisms provided by the state the clients are given a better chance at attaining economic stability.

 

The Project

Improve communities and preserve the long-term affordability of project-based Section 8 buildings in Los Angeles, through a holistic approach of legal advocacy, tenant organizing, and individual and organizational capacity building.

VAHPP addresses the dearth of safe, healthy, and decent affordable housing in Los Angeles, the most unaffordable housing market in the nation. Over 27,000 project-based Section 8 units in the city of Los Angeles are at-risk of conversion to market rate rents due to impending expiration of project-based Section 8 contracts or HUD regulatory agreements within the next five years.