It’s been two and a half years since City Council passed the bill granting free legal service to tenants facing eviction.

And the city is just starting to offer the service for low income renters in two North and West Philly zip codes.

While city officials claim the program helps landlords avoid vacancies and turnover costs, Hapco Philadelphia contends free legal counsel allows tenants to continue to stay in their apartments rent-free.  And this comes on top of months of no rent payments during the COVID eviction moratorium.

Hapco Philadelphia has always advocated communication, education, and mediation with our tenants to avoid eviction.  But when coupled with the recently-passed city eviction diversion program, it’s another green light for tenants not to pay rent.

Hapco Philadelphia feels the millions of dollars councilmembers are spending on free attorneys would be better spent funding landlord-tenants rent relief through the PHL Rent Assist program.