Starting February 1, 2023, low-income renters in Philadelphia zip codes 19134 and 19144 are entitled to free legal representation if they are facing eviction. Legislation providing for guaranteed legal representation, known as Right to Counsel, was passed by City Council in November 2019. City regulation further defining the program was enacted in December 2021, allowing for implementation to begin. The program began in February 2022 with an initial rollout in the 19139 and 19121 zip codes.
To access Right to Counsel, tenants can call the Philly Tenant Hotline at (267) 443-2500. Legal representation and support will be provided by Community Legal Services, SeniorLAW Center, Legal Clinic for the Disabled, Philly VIP, and the Tenant Union Representative Network.
To raise awareness in the newest zip codes about this resource, the Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project (PEPP) and the City of Philadelphia will host two tenant-focused resource fairs, one in each new Right to Counsel zip code. Eligible tenants will be able to access services for Right to Counsel and receive help with public benefits, taxes, employment, utility assistance, behavioral health, and more.
The first event in 19144 (Germantown) will be Saturday, February 4 from 1 – 4 p.m. at PA CareerLink NW, 5847 Germantown Ave., 19144. Note: Parking is available off East Haines Street behind the building.
The second event in 19134 (Kensington) will be on Saturday, February 11. Time and location details to come.
Right to Counsel builds on a growing network of resources for Philadelphia tenants facing eviction, including the Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project and the Eviction Diversion Program. Right to Counsel services are funded through the City’s Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project budget.