MILWAUKEE – Legal Action of Wisconsin has successfully launched its new Eviction Defense Project (EDP), which seeks to reduce housing instability for low-income Milwaukee County families, especially those with children. Housed at the Milwaukee County Courthouse, EDP provides tenants facing eviction with access to free civil legal aid and on-site, limited scope, representation.
“As the temperature drops in Milwaukee, the urgency in eviction cases increases dramatically,” said Raphael Ramos of Legal Action of Wisconsin. “With the EDP, we hope to stabilize housing for families facing eviction during these cold winter months.”
The challenge of evictions in Milwaukee County received national attention over the last year through the award-winning book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond, a sociologist at Harvard University and a recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant. The book chronicles the lives of landlords and tenants in Milwaukee neighborhoods and the often devastating impact of housing instability on Milwaukee families. Desmond’s work shows the downward spiral of poverty, joblessness, and homelessness that often results from evictions.
A close collaboration between Legal Action and others made the EDP possible: The Legal Services Corporation, the Milwaukee Justice Center, Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic, Marquette University, the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Community Advocates, Quarles & Brady LLP, and many volunteer attorneys. The support of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court was also critical in allowing Legal Action to launch the project.
How to Get Help
Milwaukee County tenants facing eviction can visit the EDP in person during open hours to request civil legal aid. The Eviction Defense Project is housed at the Milwaukee Justice Center in the Milwaukee County Courthouse:
Eviction Defense Project
901 N. 9th St., Room G-9
Open Thursdays from Noon to 3:00 PM
The free civil legal aid available at the EDP can include brief legal advice, assistance negotiating settlement with landlord, assistance preparing court documents, and in-court representation.
How to Volunteer to Provide Assistance
Members of the community interested in providing additional support for the Eviction Defense Project are encouraged to contact Raphael Ramos, the EDP Coordinator for Legal Action of Wisconsin at [email protected]. All civil legal aid provided through the EDP is limited in scope and duration. Please contact the EDP with any questions or requests for additional information.