Housing Justice: The Urgent Need for Renters' Right to Representation

August 11, 2022 @ 7:00 pm
@ 8:00 pm

All Delawareans – regardless of their circumstances or background – should have access to safe and stable housing. Although 72% of Americans believe that housing is a human right, Delaware’s eviction filing rate is four times the national average.

When it comes to fighting eviction cases, the power is stacked in favor of the landlords. 86% of landlords have representation from an attorney or agent in eviction proceedings, but only 2% of renters have representation. In a court system that is difficult to navigate, having legal representation in eviction proceedings can be the key difference in losing or keeping one’s housing – up to 30% of landlord’s eviction cases are won by default because renters don’t feel that they can fight the complaints on their own.

It’s clear that a lack of representation is severely affecting residents' ability to maintain safe and affordable housing – disproportionately for Black renters, and especially Black women renters, who face eviction filings at twice the rate of their white counterparts.

From this panel of experts, you will learn about eviction inequity, housing disparities, and what we are doing right here in Delaware to combat this dangerous trend. We'll also discuss SB 101, a bill that was proposed in Delaware during the most recent legislative session.

Panelists include:

  • Sandra Park, Senior Attorney, ACLU National Women's Rights Project;
  • Ian Thompson, Senior Legislative Advocate, ACLU National;
  • Javonne Rich, Advocacy & Policy Director, ACLU-DE; and
  • Moderated by Mike Brickner, Executive Director, ACLU-DE.

Note: this session can be attended in person or virtually via Zoom. Click the link below to choose your preferred attendance option through delawarelibraries.libcal.com.