Reports

Each year, Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) produces a comprehensive Annual Report on our activities throughout the preceding year. We invite you to review our Annual Report to keep informed on issues affecting all renters.

2013 Annual Report

The year 2013 started out in an ironic twist for LCBH, we found ourselves facing eviction, just like most of our clients. We received an eviction notice from our landlord along with all the other tenants at 100 W. Monroe, with only 90 days to move. Suddenly, we were the renter looking for a new home!

Thanks to the incredible efforts of LCBH staff, Board, and many outside stakeholders, we were able to successfully make the move to 33 N. LaSalle while simultaneously continuing to provide legal and supportive services for our clients at usual levels.

Funding in 2013 increased and LCBH was able to hire several additional staff members to bring our foreclosure efforts on behalf of renters up to scale. The generous support of the State of Illinois, Cook County and a 3 year grant awarded to LCBH by the Office of Attorney General Lisa Madigan in 2012 continues to provide funding for legal assistance and education about foreclosure issues for Illinois renters. LCBH’s staff has offered trainings and presentations, educating renters about their rights in eviction, and providing an advocate’s strong voice representing the interests of renters who suddenly find themselves in eviction court, struggling with a legal system that can be intimidating and difficult to navigate. In foreclosure cases involving renters, LCBH has been on the move in Chicago, and communities around the state of Illinois, educating renters about how to determine if their building is in foreclosure, the timeline for a foreclosure case, and their rights in eviction proceedings.

In 2013, LCBH saw a time of great change as the agency expanded its policy efforts on behalf of renters. In May, Cook County passed a Human Rights Ordinance ensuring equal opportunity to housing on a non-discriminatory basis for renters using Housing Choice Vouchers. LCBH and other fair housing advocates have been advocating for this ordinance for more than ten years. Working with the Keep Chicago Renting Coalition, LCBH drafted an ordinance for the City of Chicago to help renters remain in their homes until their foreclosed building is sold to a third party purchaser, and to increase protections for renters. With the release of LCBH’s 2012 Foreclosure Report, the agency continued to provide a premiere tool for those seeking information and updates about the foreclosure involving renters in Chicago. LCBH supported the efforts of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and Heartland Alliance to introduce an amendment to the Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Law which codified the federal provisions of the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA), which was signed into law in August. November brought the passage of legislation which allows Limited Scope Representation, which makes it possible for LCBH (and other legal aid agencies) to file a limited appears in a case to perform a specific legal task for a client, such as arguing a motion for summary judgment, appearing at one court date, or negotiating a settlement. Grant funding received in 2014 will make it possible for LCBH to continue to expand its public policy efforts on behalf of renters.

Thanks to our generous supporters, LCBH moves into our 34th year continuing to provide a voice for those in need of sustainable housing, improve living conditions, and a thriving neighborhood. Everyone deserves a safe and decent place to call home. Thank you for supporting LCBH’s efforts to help make that a reality for some of our Chicago neighbors.

Annual Reports

The year 2013 started out in an ironic twist for LCBH, we found ourselves facing eviction, just like most of our clients. We received an eviction notice from our landlord along with all the other tenants at 100 W. Monroe, with only 90 days to move. Suddenly, we were the renter looking for a new home!

Thanks to the incredible efforts of LCBH staff, Board, and many outside stakeholders, we were able to successfully make the move to 33 N. LaSalle while simultaneously continuing to provide legal and supportive services for our clients at usual levels.

As many have seen signs of the economic climate improving, the housing crisis continues to keep eroding at the quality of life for many in Chicago. The continued high rate of multi-unit buildings in foreclosure is changing the landscape of Chicago neighborhoods through disinvestment in poor neighborhoods and flipping in emerging neighborhoods. More renters of all income levels are feeling the pinch of escalating rents and the lack of available units.

The housing and foreclosure crisis captured many headlines in 2011, and Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing continued to be the only organization in Chicago with legal and supportive services focused solely on rental families.

In the fourth year of this ongoing crisis, apartment building foreclosures left low-income families vulnerable to unscrupulous landlords who continued to collect rent and banks that forced them out and then abandoned the property. Once again, more rental units in Chicago were impacted by foreclosures than residential homes or condominiums.

Lawyers’ Committee passed a milestone anniversary in 2010 – 30 years of standing up for and with tenants in Chicago. The organization celebrated with an Anniversary Reception in October, taking a brief timeout to review the agency’s history, reflect on the good work that has been done and the thousands of tenant families who have been assisted.

It is with great pride that we invite you to review our organization’s 2009 Annual Report. The accomplishments of Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing over the year have improved the lives of thousands of low-income tenants in Chicago. This yearly snapshot of LCBH reminds us of the vital needs for our services in order to ensure safe, fair, affordable housing for all Chicagoans.

2009 was a busy and exciting year for LCBH.

As President of the Board of Directors of Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, I am proud to present our organization’s 2008 Annual Report. This annual snapshot of LCBH reminds us of the vital need for our services in order to ensure safe, fair and affordable housing for all Chicagoans.

Darnell Reed came to LCBH in late 2007 through a referral by his sister, a former client. Like many of our clients, he was being threatened with eviction. Darnell’s wife had passed away a year earlier while he was living in Arlington Heights. Then he moved to Chicago and took a job at Jackson Park Hospital. Unfortunately, not long afterwards he was laid off since he was the most junior staff member.

The determination, dedication and optimism of a group of young, public-interest lawyers 25-years ago in Rogers Park laid a solid foundation for the Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing to address the housing issues of those most in need of legal representation. The founders' hard work and foresight allowed the fledgling organization to weather the storms common to the nonprofit world.