At LAFLA, our attorneys keep people off the streets by fighting for those about to lose their homes, including clients like Michael. He came to LAFLA after he received a surprising notice from his landlord: He and his family had 60 days to move out of their apartment, due to no fault of their own.
According to Michael, “I was left with the choice of getting out when he said and becoming homeless—or fighting the eviction and hopefully finding another place.”
Like many other renters across Greater Los Angeles, Michael didn’t have the resources to defend himself in court: He has been completely blind for more than 15 years, and he and his wife—who suffers from a debilitating condition—live on a fixed income. But Michael always paid the rent on time for the apartment the couple shared with their two adult children.
“LAFLA’s Preventing and Ending Homelessness Program represents the most vulnerable households facing eviction,” said LAFLA Managing Attorney Javier Beltran. “We defend these households in court because we seek to maintain their housing or transition them to another housing situation. If not for our representation and assistance, these households would inevitably be evicted and would be homeless.”
Fortunately, LAFLA Attorney Mallory Andrews (pictured above, right) successfully negotiated with the landlord to give Michael’s family more time to move: “Sometimes a tenant may need an accessible home or first-floor unit, or they might not be able to travel easily due to mobility issues—and they need more time to find a home that meets their needs,” said Mallory. “Tenants with disabilities are entitled to an equal opportunity to find safe and affordable permanent housing.”
Months later, not having been able to find another place, the family faced the threat of eviction once again. LAFLA Attorney Vanessa Lim (pictured above, left) and our community partners were able to secure an additional postponement—and find Michael and his family another place to live. One day after the landlord’s deadline, Michael’s family moved into their new apartment.
“If it wasn’t for LAFLA, I wouldn’t have gotten housed. I would definitely have been homeless for awhile. In my condition, being totally blind, I don’t know how long I would’ve lasted,” said Michael. Ultimately, they received more than a year to relocate and made the smooth transition to their next home, without having to spend one night on the streets.
As the oldest legal aid organization in Greater Los Angeles, LAFLA has extensive partnerships and deep institutional knowledge, which benefit vulnerable clients like Michael: “We better serve the unique and diverse needs of each individual by working collaboratively through organizational partnerships to provide holistic, client-centered legal and non-legal services, to help meet these needs and promote long-term housing stability for clients like Michael,” said Vanessa.
Now, Michael and his family are permanently housed and moving forward—and grateful for the support they received when they needed it most: “LAFLA pretty much saved my life, and helped me get another chance at being a renter,” noted Michael.
LAFLA provides free legal services to those who qualify. To learn more about our work or apply for help, please visit our website.