Economic justice

Legal Aid Society receives $250,000 grant to expand housing and economic justice

The Legal Aid Society has received a huge grant to continue its efforts to address housing injustices.

On August 1, the Legal Aid Society announced that the organization had received a $250,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY). This quarter of a million dollars will be put directly into local communities focusing on housing and economic justice missions for neighborhoods in need.

This grant will contribute to the Economic Equities Project’s mission to help protect the economic equity of low-income New Yorkers. The grant money will be used specifically to hire two new lawyers, one of whom will focus on bankruptcy and the other on estate planning. These two new additions to the team will protect people’s assets in this era of growing housing instability.

“We thank FHLBNY for its generous grant that will help us continue our fight for economic opportunity and housing justice for our clients,” said Adriene Holder, chief civil practice attorney at the Legal Aid Society. “This funding will be instrumental in our work to protect property owners and economic equity, which is critical to building the long-term prosperity and generational wealth of client communities.”

The Economic Equity Project is the foundation of each Legal Aid Economic Justice Unit. These include the Foreclosure Prevention Project, the Community Development Project, the Consumer Law Project, and the Low Income Taxpayer Unit. Since they are all under one roof, the units can work together to solve all the problems that low-income New Yorkers face every day. Whether it’s solving systemic legal issues, protecting clients’ finances or creating new economic opportunities, the units are able to help.

“Protecting economic equity is paramount to empowering New Yorkers and preserving and creating generational wealth,” said Tashi Lhewa, director of the Economic Actions Project at the Legal Aid Society. “We have seen entire communities, like Southeast Queens and North Bronx, impacted by foreclosures and housing instability. Many of our clients have lost equity that should have stayed with their family. We want to ensure that families can determine what they can keep in their family and pass on to another, protecting the transfers of wealth and equity from one generation to the next.

Legal Aid has helped more than 30,000 people over the past year in their fight for safe and affordable housing, which included nearly 15,000 housing law and foreclosure prevention cases. Legal Aid’s efforts are statewide, as their plans for reform reach beyond New York City.

Over the past 5 years, the Consumer Law Project has worked on over 2,600 cases and the Foreclosure Prevention Project has served over 1,300 clients, both achieving outstanding results for their clients.

“At Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, we know the importance of creating and maintaining access to housing opportunity,” said José R. González, President and CEO of FHLBNY. “We believe that a stable home is the foundation from which we grow as individuals, families and communities. The Legal Aid Society does vital work to protect housing stability for so many New Yorkers, and FHLBNY is proud to support these efforts.