Making Justice Real

The Official Blog of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Jul 12


DC Council’s Reversal On Eviction Protections Puts Tenants and Their Possessions at Risk

Earlier this week, the DC Council voted to repeal legislation it had unanimously passed just two weeks earlier that would have protected tenants and their belongings during and after evictions.

The Council had the option of maintaining, or even strengthening, that legislation – the Eviction Reform Emergency Amendment Act – which established a safe and orderly process for handling evictions and would have made the District a model jurisdiction for ensuring safe, dignified evictions. Instead, the Council took a “repeal and replace” approach that we are concerned puts tenants at significant risk during the time that this legislation will be in effect. Read more →

Jul 09



The Legal Aid Society urges Councilmembers to vote NO on the Eviction with Dignity Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 and the Eviction with Dignity Temporary Amendment Act of 2018 when they come up for a vote tomorrow, July 10. These misleadingly-named pieces of legislation, which would undo legislation that the Council passed less than two weeks ago, would harm the District’s low-income tenants by making it more likely that they would lose all of their possessions. If you are interested in protecting the District’s low-income tenants from these harmful bills, please contact your Councilmembers immediately to let them know that they should vote NO. Read more →

Jul 03


Barriers to Benefits

Why might a person with schizoaffective disorder, PTSD, major depression, and suicidal thoughts not be receiving Social Security disability benefits? A recent New York Times article noted a statistically significant decline in the number of people receiving Social Security disability benefits last year. Recent coverage of this issue in both the Washington Post and on National Public Radio observed similar trends. Read more →

Jun 29


Legal Aid Negotiates Settlement for Public Housing Tenants Overcharged for Rent

Legal Aid announced today that it has reached a settlement, potentially worth over $265,000, for approximately 70 public housing tenants overcharged for rent. The proposed settlement would resolve a federal class action lawsuit Legal Aid filed in November 2015 alleging that the owners and managers of a D.C. public housing development had miscalculated utility allowances to which their tenants are entitled. The settlement, which has been submitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, would provide monetary relief to all class members for past rent overcharges and also would reduce tenant rents over the next two years by increasing utility allowance amounts. Read more →

Jun 19


Kelly Voss Recognized for Extraordinary Pro Bono Commitment

Today Legal Aid is presenting its Making Justice Real Pro Bono Award to Kelly Voss, Pro Bono Counsel at Covington & Burling. The Making Justice Real Pro Bono Award recognizes attorneys who have provided outstanding pro bono service through individual representation and/or leadership in facilitating such representation by their colleagues.

Kelly Voss directs Covington’s pro bono program, facilitating meaningful pro bono engagement by her colleagues and collaborating with nonprofit organizations to find innovative ways to connect the firm’s resources to important needs in our local and global communities. Covington’s Washington, DC office has over 500 lawyers and a strong history of giving back. Read more →