All about Detroit's exploration of an eviction right to counsel

10/19/2019, Miscellaneous, Housing - Evictions

New policy brief urges tenant right to counsel as way of avoiding blight in Detroit


Poverty Solutions, an initiative of the University of Michigan, has released a policy brief called Stopping the Eviction Machine in Detroit.  It documents a "process of foreclosure, speculation, eviction, and eventual demolition exacerbated blight and instability in many of Detroit’s neighborhoods."  Among the policy solutions it recommends is a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction.


Ford Motor Co., others talk support for right to counsel


A couple of articles have touched on efforts in Detroit to establish a right to counsel.  Law360 profiled corporate leaders working on access to justice issues, and discusses Ford Motor Corporation’s commitment to getting a right to counsel passed.  And the Detroit Free Press discusses a pending ordinance that would "service 20% of individuals facing evictions each year for the next five years at a cost of $4 million."

Detroit holds summit on a right to counsel for tenants


A summit was convened in Detroit to explore the right to counsel in eviction cases.  The summit featured panels of City officials, funders, clients, and experts from around the country.  NCCRC Coordinator John Pollock served on one of the panels, as did Andy Scherer (RTCNYC), Jordan Dressler (NYC Office of Civil Justice), Hazel Remesch (Legal Aid Society of Cleveland) and Abby Staudt (Legal Aid Society of Cleveland).  Stout, which was one of the conveners of the event, has created a summit resources webpage featuring resources from other jurisdictions that were shared with the Detroit attendees.  


The summit was covered by The Detroit NewsDeadline Detroit, and Bridge Magazine.   



NCCRC Coordinator John Pollock moderated the panel of City officials and served on the national experts panel.