Did you know that most tenants who are called into court over an eviction elect to use pro se representation? That means they are representing themselves, and that can lead to legal pitfalls that most just aren’t prepared for. However, many of these people can’t afford the representation they need to save themselves from becoming homeless, but a new program aims to change this.
Saved from Eviction: An EPIC Program for Families in Need
The Eviction Prevention and Intervention Coalition (EPIC) got underway on January 9, 2018. This six-month pilot project seeks to provide free legal representation and limited financial assistance to families who are vulnerable to eviction and homelessness. By using pro bono help from attorneys and referrals to social and long-term financial supports, EPIC seeks to help prevent housing instability for families all across the state, and the program has already scored its first victory.
A tenant with a $5,000 judgement against him walked into court on January 10th with only his sister-in-law to help translate for him. He was met by staff from Your Way Home and a pro bono lawyer, Manrico A. Troncelliti, Jr, Esq. from Troncelliti Law Associates. After a meeting with these EPIC aides, it was soon discovered that the man had been forced to move out due to uninhabitable living conditions. Furthermore, the lease the tenant had lived under was found to be invalid, so after negotiating with the landlord’s lawyer, an agreement was reached. The judge dismissed the $5,000 ruling.
Services like this help keep families off the streets and in the homes that they need. EPIC is a program formed by a partnership between the Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Montgomery Bar Association, Montgomery County Courts, Montgomery Bar Foundation, The Montgomery County Foundation, Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities and Montgomery County Office of Housing and Community Development/Your Way Home.
Troncelliti Law Associates was happy to lend a helping hand to save families in our community—thank you for the opportunity!