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July 25, 2016: The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) is very pleased to announce the appointment of Shamus Roller as NHLP’s new Executive Director
Shamus Roller will join NHLP as Executive Director on November 1st. He comes to NHLP with expertise in executive leadership, strategic planning, fundraising, coalition building and policy development. Shamus will join NHLP as Executive Director on November 1, filling a vacancy left by Marcia Rosen, who retired in December 2015. He will work within a limited scope from now until November with Susan Stern, who will serve as Interim Executive Director.
His role at NHLP will follow his tenure as Executive Director of Housing California. Robert Pearman, Chairman of NHLP’s Board of Directors notes, “Shamus Roller is widely respected for his many accomplishments and illustrious track record. We are very excited that Shamus will take the helm at NHLP, a storied home of housing champions and great legal minds."
July 15, 2016: New Protections Proposed for Domestic Violence Survivors
Having worked closely with national allies in assisting Senator Jeanne Shaheen's office (D-NH) in developing this critical protection for survivors, NHLP is pleased to support a bill introduced on July 12 by the Senator that would amend the federal Fair Housing Act to explicitly include survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking as a protected class. A study found that more than 10% of all evictions and more than 25% of housing denials involved victims of domestic violence because of the crimes committed against them. “Domestic violence and sexual assault survivors have so many obstacles to overcome – it’s unconscionable that women are removed from their homes and face repeated discrimination simply because of the heinous crimes committed against them,” said Senator Shaheen.
July 13, 2016: NHLP Attorneys presented at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association's Litigation and Advocacy Leaders' Conference
NHLP's Renee Williams, Karlo Ng, and Jessie Cassella recently presented at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association's Litigation and Advocacy Leaders' Conference, where they spoke to experienced and emerging civil legal aid practitioners from across the country. Their presentations explored: emerging issues in housing and domestic violence/ sexual assault, the future of public housing, and frameworks for building broad-based equitable remedies for systemic injustices.
July 11, 2016: Advocates Demand Stronger Lead Poisoning Prevention Strategies in Voucher-Assisted Housing
NHLP, the Shriver Center, and the Health Justice Project at Loyola University Chicago School of Law recently submitted joint comments to HUD to prioritize lead poisoning prevention in the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection protocol. Lead poisoning causes severe health concerns, such as significant biological and neurological damage affecting cognition, behavior, bodily functions, growth, and development. These concerns are especially dangerous for Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) tenants, who reside in neighborhoods with high rates of lead poisoning where the housing stock predates prohibitions against the use of lead-based paint. More than one-fifth of children from the poorest neighborhoods, where HCV tenants often reside, have alarming levels of lead poisoning. These risks fall heavily on communities of color, who are disproportionately represented in federally assisted housing. For example, African American children are nearly three times more likely than Caucasian children to have highly elevated blood-lead levels and the associated damaging health outcomes. The joint comments request that HUD take a stronger, proactive stance to detect and abate lead before it causes significant, permanent health concerns among HCV tenants, especially in communities of color.
July 5, 2016: Protecting Tenants in Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Communities Nationwide (June 2016)
This webinar provides an overview of the RAD program and explores how legal services attorneys and tenant advocates can secure key RAD tenant rights at each major stage of a RAD conversion. The webinar also draws upon the experiences of tenant advocates in RAD-converting communities nationwide to provide lessons learned and examples of implementation challenges. Click here to view the PowerPoint slides.
June 14, 2016: June 2016 Foreclosure Newsletter Posted
The June newsletter contains an updated practice guide along with case summaries including Sciarratta, Renfroe, Daniels, and more.
June 6, 2016: NHLP Work on RAD Cited by Twin Cities Daily Planet
Last year, the National Housing Law Project (NHLP), an ally of tenants rights, drafted a memorandum to HUD highlighting a litany of tenant concerns. ... NHLP argued that the continued observance of tenants rights could possibly be weakened as, "RAD requirements are not in a permanent authorization statute."
June 3, 2016: Beginner's Guide to RAD Advocacy (June 2016)
NHLP has created an introductory guide for tenant advocates who are just starting to get involved in their local RAD conversion. This document, entitled the "Beginner's Guide to RAD Advocacy," provides a brief overview of the RAD program, information about the HUD RAD guiding documents, additional RAD resources provided by NHLP and HUD, tips on getting involved in local RAD conversions, and preliminary questions that tenant advocates should ask when first getting involved in RAD. For additional questions about RAD, please email RAD@nhlp.org.