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Housing & Homelessness

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles works toward systems change through litigation, policy, and education aimed at increasing and preserving housing. Our team also provides legal services to households facing homelessness, and upholds the civil rights of unhoused individuals.

Stay Housed LA County
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles is proud to serve tenants as part of Stay Housed LA County, a new initiative to connect tenants with resources about their rights and legal assistance. Tenants who need help can visit www.stayhousedla.org or call (888) 694-0040. 

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles seeks to:

In partnership with LA Community Action Network, the Inglewood Public Library, homeless service providers, and other organizations, LAFLA holds off-site clinics where people can seek advice on housing matters.

View the schedule of clinics.

Affordable, Quality Housing

LAFLA focuses on both increasing and preserving affordable, quality housing. We work to help people keep their homes in various ways, including:

  • Fighting illegal harassment by landlords,
  • Challenging unfair termination from programs such as Section 8, and
  • Getting tenants needed repairs made to their homes.

Depending on the case, we may offer legal education, counsel and advice, representation at hearings, or help with negotiations to help our clients solve housing issues.

We also provide transactional assistance and negotiate community benefits agreements for community-based nonprofits that seek to increase and preserve affordable housing as well as support groups focusing on community land trusts, co-operatives or other avenues to achieve this goal. Learn more about our work with nonprofits and other groups.

Preventing Displacement and Homelessness

For Resident and Community Groups

LAFLA aims to secure development without displacement, so that long-term residents can remain in their homes in the face of new development and enjoy community improvements that come with this investment. We work on land-use cases and policies that address the displacement of long-term, low-income residents. (See some examples of our recent work in our Media Center.)

We provide legal assistance, education, and representation to residents and community groups working to protect low-income households from threats of displacement caused by habitability, harassment, rising rents, expiring contracts, and other factors. See our educational materials.

For Individuals and Families

LAFLA helps individuals who are facing eviction, including Section 8 tenants and public housing residents who are in danger of losing their Section 8 vouchers or housing. Visit our Eviction Defense page.

Through the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative, LAFLA also provides legal services to households at risk of homelessness, as well as homeless individuals and families, in the South Bay/Harbor area and southeast areas of Los Angeles County. Partner organizations through the collaborative (funded by the Measure H sales tax) refer clients to LAFLA, and include:

  • Harbor Interfaith Services
  • PATH Los Angeles
  • The Whole Child
  • Jovenes, Inc.
  • Catholic Charities of Los Angeles
  • Kingdom Causes

Update on Housing is Key (California COVID-19 Emergency Rent Relief Program)

This program is administered by the State of California’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). In June 2022, ACCE, SAJE, and PolicyLink filed a lawsuit against HCD for administering the program in an opaque and discriminatory way, and for refusing to provide adequate explanation to tenants who were denied assistance. In July 2022, a judge agreed that the denial notices HCD sent out are too vague, that applicants have no meaningful way to appeal, and that HCD indefensibly refused to tell applicants which of their documents led to denial. The court then ordered HCD not to deny any pending rental assistance applications until it can demonstrate that the denial process meets constitutional due process standards. No individual tenants or landlords are represented in this case; Western Center on Law & Poverty, Public Counsel, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and Covington & Burling represent the organizations in the public interest.

As of January 2023, HCD is still not allowed to deny any pending applications. However, nothing is stopping HCD from continuing to process applications, approve applications, or issue payments to approved applicants. We urge you to continue contacting HCD if you were approved but have not yet received payment, or if your application has been pending since 2021. If you need legal assistance, you can find legal resources in your area at LawHelpCA.org.

Advocacy for Unhoused People

LAFLA has a longstanding commitment to upholding the civil rights of unhoused individuals, from providing direct legal services at a bi-weekly legal clinic in Skid Row to filing groundbreaking lawsuits that challenge municipalities’ unlawful practices. 

In addition, LAFLA providers legal services in collaboration with homeless services providers to unhoused individuals and families to remove barriers to housing and income benefits. You can read more about our advocacy for unhoused people in our Media Center.

Address Tenant Harassment

Tenants have a right to not be unreasonably bothered or disturbed by their landlords. If you are a tenant facing harassment by your landlord, check out LAFLA’s resources, including details on seeking legal recourse, which can be found here.

Additionally, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has a number of helpful resources on topics related to prohibited housing practices (including discrimination) and other matters, which can be found here.

Workshops and Clinics

Register with Stay Housed L.A. for a workshop to learn more about your rights as a tenant and to connect with a tenant advocate or attorney here.

Clinics related to housing and eviction concerns can be found here.