LA Care Health Plan Announces Legal Aid Funding for Those Facing Eviction

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - L.A. Care Health Plan, which serves low-income residents and families possibly facing eviction, today announced a second round of $750,000 in funding divided between a half-dozen legal aid agencies.

“We want to bolster the efforts of agencies that have already been helping to level the legal playing field for people living in poverty,'' said John Baackes, the health plan's chief executive officer. “The funding will help the six agencies educate clients about their rights and provide legal representation to hundreds in need.''

The L.A. Care Housing Stability Initiative II grantees --  Bet Tzedek, Eviction Defense Network, Inner City Law Center, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Los Angeles LGBT Center and Public Counsel -- will each receive grants of between $100,000 and $150,000, according to the publicly operated health plan.

It is widely acknowledged that people facing eviction have a greater chance of staying in their home if they have legal representation, and the number of people on the brink of homelessness has increased due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Inner City Law Center, a nonprofit law firm assisting the poor in Los Angeles since 1980, is embarking on its second year of L.A. Care funding.

“The pandemic has the potential to displace tens of thousands of poor and low-income families in Los Angeles County from their homes in the months after the courts re-open,'' said Adam Murray, executive director of the law center. “We know the best way to prevent homelessness is to stop it from happening in the first place. With support from L.A. Care's Housing Stability Initiative, our attorneys at Inner City Law Center stand ready to defend tenants who could soon face eviction into homelessness.''

Housing advocates warn of a wave of evictions as emergency eviction moratorium begin to run out. Although Gov. Gavin Newsom has extended authorization allowing local governments to delay evictions through the end of next month, UCLA researchers found that 365,000 renter households in Los Angeles County are in imminent danger of eviction once eviction orders are lifted.

The first round of Housing Stability Initiative grants provided $500,000 to four legal aid agencies.

L.A. Care Health Plan serves more than 2.1 million members in Los Angeles County, making it the largest publicly operated health plan in the country.

Photo: Getty Images

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