New Portal Connects People Facing Eviction with Volunteer Lawyers
Lawyers are always looking for ways to serve their communities, and the Ontario Bar Association is here to help them and make it easier for them to do that.
As part of the association’s ongoing commitment to support lawyers as they look for ways to complement their professional practice with opportunities to give back, the OBA has established Eviction Help: The Tenant-Lawyer Connection Portal, which is delivered under the auspices of the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO). The Tenant-Lawyer Connection Portal is a pop-up portal in which the OBA provides the virtual meeting space and volunteer lawyers provide legal services.
“We know this is a difficult time for many, but I know OBA members are always willing to answer the call when they are able to do so,” says OBA President Charlene Theodore. “This portal shows the commitment of our members to their communities and to providing better access to justice.”
The portal provides residential tenants who are facing eviction for non-payment of rent and who have a hearing scheduled before the Landlord Tenant Board the ability to connect with lawyers, who will provide 30 minutes of free legal summary advice.
“Lawyers from across Ontario have heard the concerns that COVID-19 has placed significant pressures on residential tenants who may be having trouble paying their rent. We know the possibility of eviction in the months ahead is on the minds of many people,” says Doug Ferguson, chair of the OBA’s Pro Bono Sub-Committee. “Tenants will be facing eviction and homelessness in the winter months, during a pandemic, and some will have small children. Any help OBA lawyers can give them will be good for our communities.”
Registration is easy. Tenants who are facing eviction can visit the portal website where they are able to sign up for a time where they can connect with a lawyer, while also accessing important resources.
About the Ontario Bar Association
Established in 1907, the OBA is the largest voluntary legal association in Ontario representing over 16,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students. The OBA provides continuing professional development and advocates for improvements to the law in the interests of the profession and public.
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