About UsLCBH relentlessly advocates for people at risk of homelessness.
Mission & History
The Law Center for Better Housing (LCBH) will provide free legal and supportive services to improve housing stability for lower income renters while advocating for the rights of all renters until everyone in Chicago has a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home.
LCBH believes that safe, decent and affordable housing is a basic human right, and we aspire to be the preeminent legal resource on housing justice for renters in our community.
In order to best achieve our mission, LCBH embraces the following values:
- Mission Focus: We are committed to and engaged in the LCBH mission and communicate that with understanding and belief in our work.
- Excellence: We treat all persons we come into contact with compassion and respect. We consistently strive to produce excellent work so that we are known as the “go-to” agency regarding renter advocacy issues.
- Diversity: We embrace diversity as a cultural value engaging a variety of perspectives in order to provide the best advocacy, client services, and work environment.
- Financial Health: We strive to maintain financial stability by creating and adhering to a strategic financial plan, reducing expenses, increasing unrestricted funding, and building reserves.
- Balance: We recognize the need for a healthy balance between the professional and personal in order to retain good-quality staff and maintain a supportive office culture.
Our ProgramsLCBH tackles Chicago’s eviction crisis on many fronts.
LCBH provides a broad range of services designed to protect renters’ rights. Our Rentervention program uses volunteer attorneys and Renny the chatbot to empower renters to solve problems before an eviction is filed. LCBH’s attorneys proudly participate in the Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt (CCLAHD) Early Resolution Program (ERP). Working in the ERP’s Zoom courtrooms, they provide brief advice to renters who have received an eviction summons. LCBH attorneys also participate in Chicago’s Right to Counsel in Eviction Court pilot project. They provide eviction defense for renters whenever a negotiated settlement in the ERP is not possible. LCBH also advocates for renters facing other serious issues, such as building foreclosure, illegal lockouts, retaliation, and conditions problems. LCBH also represents groups of renters in building-wide cases that save and improve affordable housing. Our social workers help renters represented by LCBH apply for emergency rental assistance, determine eligibility for other public benefits, and find replacement housing.
LCBH reaches thousands of renters, landlords, and housing advocates annually with critical information on housing justice. Through workshops, resource tables, and other convenings, we provide timely and focused messages regarding renters’ rights, eviction prevention, and how to access pertinent services and resources. We are also leading providers of training on Fair Housing law and practices. LCBH also collaborates with community organizations in service and outreach partnerships. Let us know if you would like someone from LCBH to talk to your group about renters’ rights.
Education and Advocacy
Using our Chicago Eviction Data Portal of eviction records from the last decade, LCBH analyzes the scale and impact of evictions. In data-driven reports, we share what we learn regarding the inequitable impacts of eviction and the importance of legal representation. For 40 years, LCBH has leveraged our knowledge to advocate for concrete systemic change. Our founders helped to write and pass Chicago’s Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance. More recently, we helped to protect and improve the Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance (KCRO), advocated statewide for eviction sealing legislation, and in Chicago for a just cause ordinance.