In June 2021 the Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA) partnered with Legal Services Alabama to expedite eligible cases for renters who received formal evictions notices, but applied for Emergency Rental Assistance.
The collaborative venture, called the Imminent Eviction Prevention Initiative, began as a pilot program in the LSA Tuscaloosa office.
Tuscaloosa Managing Attorney, Willie Mays Jones, initially served as a project liaison to monitor files sent to ERA Alabama and streamline the referrals process.
“When AHFA contacted me, we knew we had to find a means to get the landlords paid and stop these evictions,” says Jones.
“AHFA’s idea was to expedite those files in which eviction was most imminent (files pending in court). Many of these clients were just a writ away from homelessness. The program was just what we needed, and there are many more Alabamians still in need.”
Today, twenty lawyers from all eight LSA offices across the state participate in the program. As of July 30, the program has helped 81 Alabama families. Another 25 cases are pending.
“I am excited about the Imminent Eviction Prevention Initiative because it is our best option to help our clients avoid homelessness,” says Jones. “It’s a win-win for tenants and landlords, and I just hope more landlords will participate in the program so they can get reimbursed while helping Alabama families keep their housing.”
The Imminent Eviction Prevention Initiative is open to other attorneys whose clients may be interested in participating. For more information, click here to see the ERA Imminent Eviction Prevention flyer.