Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income residents to stop illegal evictions, save homes from foreclosure, and fight against housing discrimination in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity. With the primary goal of preserving and sustaining tenant leases, Sarah D’Amato, Eviction Diversion Program Director for Legal Aid NC, says that the organization’s Eviction Diversion Program has an impressive success rate.
Out of 840 cases in 2021, 80% closed without any judgment from the court and residency was preserved over 70% of the time. Preventing involvement by the court system is critical as a record of conviction makes it much more difficult to rent a home. And the need for representation is dire, as oftentimes landlords have their own lawyers and tenants do not.
With $2.6 million in funding from the City of Durham, the office provides critical resources to low-income individuals and families.
“Evictions are part of a cycle that sends rental rates up,” said D’Amato. “If we can slow down the process, provide assistance and reduce the number of evictions, hopefully the efforts of the Forever Home, Durham program will help us see meaningful change for our low-income neighbors.”
Learn more about the mission and services of Legal Aid NC by visiting https://www.legalaidnc.org/ or by calling 866-219-5262.