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This year, we’ve reformed the Index to focus on unhoused youth and young adults (YYA), aligning it with their experiences and policy needs. Shifting from harm reduction to transformative change, some jurisdictions may see lower scores than before. This is a deliberate strategy, not a setback. Lower scores should motivate, not discourage, jurisdictions. They present an opportunity to adopt policies that effectively tackle and prevent youth homelessness, fostering meaningful progress.

Right to Counsel for Public and Subsidized Housing Tenants

  • Maintaining housing
  • Shifting power

There is a right to counsel for public or subsidized housing tenants facing administrative or judicial eviction proceedings

The right to counsel in eviction and other housing issues is a crucial aspect of ensuring access to housing justice. This right, which is recognized in some jurisdictions, allows individuals facing eviction or other housing-related legal proceedings to have legal representation, even if they cannot afford to hire a lawyer themselves. This can help level the playing field and prevent unfair outcomes. By providing individuals with legal assistance and guidance, the right to counsel can help ensure that housing disputes are resolved fairly and allow vulnerable populations to maintain their housing.

Model Statute:

Key Metric Score Type of Policy Description
1.5 Transformative Edge There is a right to counsel to deal with habitability issues or other affirmative proceedings
There is a right to counsel to assist with conflict resolution before an eviction proceeding is officially filed
1.0 Reform There is a right to counsel for eviction appeals
0.5 Harm Reduction There is a right to counsel for all low-income tenants facing administrative or judicial eviction proceedings
There is a right to counsel for public or subsidized housing tenants facing administrative or judicial eviction proceedings
0.0 Status Quo No laws found
No Data No Data No Data

Cite: National Homelessness Law Center and True Colors United. ", Right to Counsel for Public and Subsidized Housing Tenants" https://youthstateindex.com/maps/right-to-counsel-for-public-and-subsidized-housing-tenants/. Accessed: June 22, 2024.

Maintaining housing

Maintaining housing or “security of tenure” is an essential part of the right to housing. This principle ensures that individuals and families have a sense of stability and security in knowing that they will not be arbitrarily evicted from their homes. It means that people can establish roots in their communities and have a sense of belonging. Security of tenure also helps to prevent homelessness and displacement, which can have devastating and long-lasting effects. 

“People weaponize their privilege and power. We should identify and call out benign -isms and phobias. Parenting individuals – especially black women – are more likely to be evicted, black men are more likely to be denied housing at the jump. The whole family unit may not be approved for housing – which can lead to issues when those families choose to stay together “breaking the rules” which can result in eviction. Racism and prejudice runs rampant and pushes people into untenable situations.” – Tiffany S. Haynes

Shifting power

Shifting power in housing refers to a change in the dynamics of control and decision-making regarding housing. Historically, power in housing has been concentrated in the hands of wealthy individuals and corporations, leaving marginalized communities with limited say in the development and management of their homes and neighborhoods. However, there has been a growing movement towards shifting power towards these communities, with a focus on community-led development, tenant rights, and affordable housing.

Shifting power in housing can also help us move towards the decommodification of housing, which is when housing is treated primarily as a place to live rather than a financial asset or means of accumulating profit. There are a few types of decommodified housing, such as public or social housing (housing owned by governments or other public entities) or shared equity housing (housing owned by a group of residents, community members, or community organizations). But decommodified housing today constitutes less than 1 percent of US housing stock. The Index tracks a few policies that jurisdictions can enact to support shared equity models but action is needed on the federal level to reinvest in public housing and to support efforts like a Homes Guarantee.

“Autonomy in housing choice – I think about subsidized housing and what I had to give up to access it. Privacy was lacking when accessing certain things, like refrigerators had to be looked in. Over policing in these spaces removes privacy and autonomy and the impact on mental health in spaces that lack autonomy and privacy is devastating. Constantly looking for notices, constantly anxious about conditions of housing and maintenance checks. This causes stress and anxiety with my son, as well. MULTIGENERATIONAL stresses, constantly on the defense. Housing should preserve dignity and respect.” – Tiffany S. Haynes


These maps are provided as legal information only and should not be used as legal advice for your specific situation. If you need help with any of the issues described on this website, please check out the Homeless Youth Legal Network (HYLN) directory OR email or call HYLN for help finding a referral to a lawyer.