Eviction Defense LA is a collaborative effort between the Debt Collective, Bocoup, anti-eviction lawyers including the Inner City Law Center, the Los Angeles Tenants’ Union, and the Anti Eviction Mapping Project. We are designing this tool to fight evictions, keep people in their homes, and build the collective power of tenants. Together, we have the power not only to defend ourselves in an unfair system, but to change that system for the better.
The Eviction Defense Collaborative is anchored by the legal expertise and deep commitments of Gary Blasi, Professor of Law Emeritus at UCLA Law School and lawyer, advocate and researcher on issues affecting low income tenants and unhoused people in Los Angeles since 1976. It was his article on UD Day that inspired the Debt Collective to envision the tool in the first place, and he has worked tirelessly on this project from its inception.
Within the Eviction Defense collaborative there is a core support team of Debt Collective organizers, Bocoup technologists, and anti-eviction lawyers. It is this small team who will have access to your information in order to file your legal paperwork and support you through the process. If the court rejects your legal paperwork, the support team will also share your file with legal volunteers who have agreed to help tenants with rejected cases.
Helping each of us fight eviction as individuals in the court system is crucial. But that is only the first part of what we can do together. Filing an answer to Unlawful Detainer helps us respond to the system, but how can we change an unfair system? How can we change a system that evicts tenants who cannot file complicated legal papers within 5 days, but gives landlords online tools to evict from home? With consent, we also want to connect users to tenant organizing in LA county, and eventually, connect users to others in their situation - neighbors; those who share landlords; those on rent strike. Why? Because if I am facing eviction alone, my landlord has power over me. But if I am facing eviction with everyone in my building, or everyone in all the other buildings my landlord owns, then we have the power to negotiate and make demands on both landlords and our government: Cancel Rent! Lower rent rates! Make repairs! Tenants unions build collective power over both landlords and government. Learn more.
Finally, in addition to connecting tenants to tenants unions, to other tenant organizations, and to each other, the tool has the potential to generate important information on evictions, with user consent. What we learn from this tool can inform collective action campaigns and public policy based on facts: Which landlords are evicting during a pandemic? Which corporations are taking over our neighborhoods and driving rent prices up? Which neighborhoods are becoming eviction hot spots? Who is evicting people based on prejudice or discrimination?
We’re so happy you’ve found us. Alone we are vulnerable. But together we are powerful.