MA completes comprehensive housing pilots, starts another round
01/01/2012, Pilot, Housing - Evictions
In 2008, the Boston Bar Association's Task Force on Expanding the Civil Right to Counsel issued a report entitled Gideon's New Trumpet that urged for the creation of pilot programs to further study implementation of a civil right to counsel. The BBA subsequently obtained sufficient funding to initiate an eviction pilot in two courts (one district court and one housing court), and the pilots completed their work in mid-2011 and released their final report in 2012.
The Boston Bar Association Task Force is engaged in another round of housing pilots that started in 2013. The state Attorney General has agreed to provide some of the funds provided to the state from the national foreclosure lawsuit to implement new civil right to counsel pilots on eviction cases. The pilots will focus on gathering data that couldn't be gathered in the last round pilots, like tracking people who were evicted to see whether they became homeless and whether pro bono attorneys could be trained to handle these cases in the event there is established a statewide right to counsel in housing.
For more on the pilots, check out the Coalition's comprehensive biblography section on the Massachusetts pilots.