Archives

Written by Adam Jacobs

Jun 13

2019

Legal Aid Opposes Alternate Measure of Poverty that Would Reduce Access to Safety Net Benefits

Yesterday, Legal Aid, the DC Fiscal Policy Institute and the Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs submitted comments opposing a new approach to measuring poverty under consideration by the Trump Administration that could significantly reduce the number of families eligible for a wide range of safety net benefit programs. This “request for information,” which relates to how the federal poverty guidelines are updated each year, may appear quite technical at first glance. But adoption of the measure the Administration is contemplating could ultimately result in the denial of access to essential benefits like Medicaid and SNAP to millions of low-income individuals and families. As organizations dedicated to justice for low-income communities and communities of color, we oppose the adoption of a poverty measure that would artificially lower the poverty threshold and make countless vulnerable individuals and families ineligible for essential benefits. Read more →

May 16

2019

Proposed HUD Rule Forces Immigrant Families to Separate or Face Homelessness

In a move that members of Congress are calling “cruel,” “disturbing,” and “deeply flawed,” the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is proposing to deny federal housing assistance to immigrant families with a mix of citizen and non-citizen members. This change will effectively force thousands of immigrant families out of federal housing assistance programs—with no financial benefit to HUD and likely negative implications for millions of other U.S. citizens depending on HUD for assistance. Read more →

May 01

2019

Seven Honored, $1.5 Million Raised at 30th Annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner

The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia honored women’s rights icon Judy Lichtman, Akin Gump DC partner-in-charge Tony Pierce, client Tamika Hayes, and a team of associates from Hogan Lovells at the 30th Annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 25 in Washington, DC.

More than 700 people attended the event, raising a record $1,518,650 to support Legal Aid’s mission. More than 100 law firms, corporate supporters, and philanthropists sponsored the Dinner, which has recognized those who have demonstrated “faithful dedication and remarkable achievement in ensuring that all persons have equal and meaningful access to justice” since 1990. Read more →

Apr 10

2019

Legal Aid Strongly Opposes Attempts to Impose Additional Mandatory Work Requirements on Vulnerable SNAP Beneficiaries

Last week, Legal Aid filed comments opposing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed rule change that would make it more difficult for the District of Columbia and all states to obtain waivers of onerous work requirements for a population of SNAP beneficiaries known as ABAWDs (Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents). Read more →

Mar 27

2019

New Study Quantifies the Impact of Gentrification on DC

The District of Columbia experienced the most intense gentrification—and had the highest percentage of gentrified neighborhoods—of any city in the nation between 2000 and 2013, according to a new study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC). This study, released last week, helps to highlight the continuing importance of the work that Legal Aid is doing to preserve affordable housing in DC. Read more →

Mar 19

2019

New Report: DC Alliance’s Onerous Requirements Lead to Negative Health Outcomes and Higher Costs

A report released yesterday by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute finds that the burdensome recertification requirements the District imposes on Alliance beneficiaries contribute to worsening health outcomes and higher health care costs.

The DC Health Care Safety Net Alliance program provides health insurance to low-income residents of the District who are not eligible for Medicaid due to strict federal restrictions on immigrant eligibility for federally funded public benefits. Although Alliance provides critical, life-saving services, the DC Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) adopted a harmful policy in 2011 requiring all beneficiaries to complete an in-person, face-to-face interview every six months in order to keep their coverage. Read more →

Mar 18

2019

New DC Law Ending Unfair Driver’s License Suspensions Takes Effect

Last week, thousands of DC residents with suspended driver’s licenses based on unpaid civil money judgments became eligible to have their licenses reinstated. On March 13 the Driver’s License Revocation Fairness Amendment Act of 2018, passed by the DC Council last December, officially took effect as DC Law 22-0236. According to a report recently released by the DMV, 2,282 DC residents have their licenses suspended as a result of provisions now repealed under the new law. The DMV has announced it will mail notices to all affected persons letting them know they can apply for reinstatement of their licenses. Read more →

Mar 14

2019

Lawsuit Filed Alleging D.C. Housing Authority Fails to Protect Rights of Domestic Violence Survivors

Yesterday, Legal Aid and Alston & Bird LLP announced that they filed a complaint in federal court against the D.C. Housing Authority and its Executive Director, Tyrone Garrett, alleging that the agency fails to comply with local and federal laws and regulations protecting the rights of survivors of domestic violence who participate in housing subsidy programs. The plaintiff (to whom we will refer to as Jane Smith, to protect her identity) also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. Read more →

Feb 21

2019

Legal Aid Convenes Its First Ever Community Advisory Council

Tuesday night, Legal Aid convened a group of eight former clients we served across a broad cross section of our practice areas to explore whether they would like to be a part of our organization’s first inaugural Community Advisory Council. We are thrilled and honored to report that by the end of the meeting, we received an enthusiastic “yes!” from each participant. Read more →

Dec 17

2018

The DC Council Should Pass the Wage Garnishment Fairness Act

Tomorrow, the DC Council will vote for a final time on the Wage Garnishment Fairness Act of 2017, a bill that would reform District law governing garnishment of employees’ wages for collection on civil judgments. Introduced in November of last year, the bill would protect low and moderate-income District residents by placing reasonable limits on this often-debilitating debt collection method. We urge the Council to vote for the bill one final time and resist any efforts by the debt collection industry to weaken the bill via last-minute amendments. Read more →