Matthew Hill wins Housing Justice Award
On Sunday, October 16, 2011, the Housing Justice Network surprised Public Justice Center attorney Matthew Hill with its 2011 Housing Justice Award. According to the Housing Justice Network, the award “recognizes a new and impressive talent in the field of affordable housing and low-income housing rights. The award is also intended to underscore the importance of uniting direct service work with local, state or federal policy advocacy. The award is given to an energetic and unstoppable activist…who is fearlessly and successfully tackling the systemic and often hostile obstacles that stand in the way of safe, decent and affordable housing for low-income and marginalized people.”
Matt is one of the principal architects of the PJC's Tenants in Foreclosure (TIF) project, created in 2009 to expand access to justice for tenants facing eviction because their landlords are in foreclosure. Under Matt’s leadership, the TIF project brought this vulnerable constituency to the attention of the general public and the General Assembly to create new law advancing the rights of tenants in foreclosure. The TIF project now leads the state in providing legal advice and representation to tenants in foreclosure, enforcing and strengthening these new laws.
The TIF team educates tenants, other legal services providers, the bar and the bench about new tenant rights, and advocates for new protections before the General Assembly and the Rules Committee of our Court of Appeals. In the fall of 2010, the team began offering monthly evening workshops for tenants in foreclosure. Matt and his team also launched the “Take Back Your Home” Campaign in collaboration with homeownership preservation advocates in Prince George’s County, an area hard hit by the foreclosure crisis. The objective is to identify and canvass both homeowners and tenants who are in foreclosure, and get them to workshops at which they receive legal advice and assistance from housing counselors and attorneys.
Congratulations, Matt, on this well-deserved award!
Read more about the PJC's Tenants in Foreclosure Project.
For more information about the Housing Justice Network, click here.
Photo by Marshall Clarke