Rep. Stanley Testifies on Bill Promoting Housing Stability and Homelessness Prevention

Rep. Stanley submitted testimony to the Joint Committee on Housing on behalf of the Right to Counsel Act, legislation promoting housing stability and homelessness prevention in Massachusetts. The bill would address a significant disparity between landlords and tenants in evictions proceedings regarding access to legal representation.

The bill would provide eligible low-income tenants and low-income owner occupants of 1 to 3 family homes full legal representation in eviction cases from the moment a complaint is filed. The Right to Counsel (RTC) program would be funded through a dedicated line-item in the Judiciary budget that would not impact current funding for legal aid programs or housing stability programs. Under the bill, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) would solicit proposals from organizations with substantial experience in landlord/tenant law to provide free legal assistance to eligible participants. MLAC would then oversee the program with the assistance of an advisory committee.