Super District 6 Commissioner Ted Terry allocates $100K for the initiative
DECATUR, GA–The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners (BOC) has announced the establishment of the DeKalb County Eviction Legal Defense Fund to provide legal assistance to county residents facing eviction. The initiative will significantly bolster housing stability and promoting legal equity, officials stated in a news release today.
The creation of the Eviction Legal Defense Fund in DeKalb County is inspired by similar successful programs across the nation, including the Eviction Protection Grant Program (EPGP), launched by HUD in 2021. The EPGP, a pioneering federal program, has played a crucial role in expanding access to legal services for low-income tenants at risk of eviction. As of March 31, 2023, EPGP grantees have provided legal assistance to more than 13,000 households across 19 states, setting a precedent for local, state, and federal efforts in eviction diversion.
Super District 6 Commissioner Ted Terry seeded DeKalb County’s fund with a $100,000 contribution from the District 6 American Rescue Plan funds.
“With the creation of this Eviction Legal Defense Fund, DeKalb County is joining a growing movement of jurisdictions nationwide that recognize the critical need for legal representation in eviction cases. This fund is not just a local initiative; it’s part of a broader, national effort to protect vulnerable families and individuals from the long-term consequences of eviction,” said Terry.
HUD’s 2021 report highlights the importance of such programs, noting that most tenants facing eviction lack access to necessary legal assistance. This gap in legal support often leads to less favorable outcomes for tenants, who are predominantly people of color and from low-income backgrounds.
The DeKalb County Eviction Legal Defense Fund will draw on lessons from national programs, focusing on providing no-cost legal assistance to prevent or divert evictions and mitigate their consequences. The fund will prioritize support for those most in need, including low-income and extremely low-income residents, officials stated.
Residents in need of assistance from the Eviction Legal Defense Fund can contact Commissioner Terry’s office, in the meantime, while partner organizations and contracts are finalized.
To learn more about Commissioner Terry, his platforms and how to stay up to date on the latest from his office, visit www.commissionertedterry.com.