Pro Bono Attorney Keeps Single Mother and Her Kids Housed After Months of Uncertainty

Mintz Attorney Deborah Frisch

Mintz Attorney Deborah Frisch

Rosa, a single mother of three, worked as a Patient Care Assistant on a COVID unit. Early in the pandemic, Rosa was furloughed and began to fall behind on her rent. When she returned to work, Rosa, who was then pregnant with her third child, developed pregnancy complications and was forced to take an early, unpaid maternity leave.

Rosa gave birth to her third child in September 2020 and resumed work shortly after. Rosa tried to keep up with her rent payments as best as she could, and made partial payments anytime she received extra income.

She provided her landlord with documentation from her employer confirming that she was on an unpaid maternity leave. Rosa also secured rental assistance from RAFT that was paid to the landlord.

Despite these efforts, the landlord still served her with a Notice to Quit and a court Summons for non-payment of rent, as well as a notice that the lease would not be renewed. Panicked that she would lose her home, Rosa contacted Community Legal Aid (CLA) for assistance.

Through CLA’s CELHP Pro Bono partnership with Mintz, a volunteer attorney quickly jumped in to represent Rosa at the first court event, a conference with the Housing Specialist. During the Housing Specialist conference, the volunteer attorney explained that the landlord had accepted RAFT payments, that the client paid all of the back rent listed in the complaint, and that the landlord improperly filed the eviction. The CELHP volunteer attorney convinced the landlord to dismiss the case and rescind the notice of non-renewal. After months of stress and uncertainty, Rosa and her kids were able to stay in their home.

Name has been changed to protect the client’s privacy