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The project started as an all-volunteer community organizing effort to recruit lawyers and inform policy to protect renters during the pandemic. Based on client feedback and engagement, CEDP developed a model that gives renters facing eviction a single point of contact for stability services. The program integrates intake and navigation, rapid rental aid payments, eviction legal defense, and, when necessary, rehousing support. We also focus on building policy change alongside our clients, going from case to cause. This organizing work has led to transformational renters rights legislation in 2021 and a Towing Bill of Rights to stop predatory nonconsensual towing in 2022.
CEDP clients have pushed the organization to think more broadly about the intersectionality of housing and economic instability. Our work now occurs under the banner of the Community Economic Defense Project to reflect the organization’s broader mandate.