Introduced in House Passed House Introduced in Senate Passed Senate To President Became Law
02/13/2020          

Legal Assistance to Prevent Evictions Act of 2020

Date Version PDF TXT
02/13/2020 Introduced in House Open

            I 

116TH CONGRESS 
2D SESSION H. R. 5884 

To establish a grant program to provide legal assistance to eligible tenants 
at risk of or subject to eviction, and for other purposes. 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

FEBRUARY 13, 2020 
Mr. CLYBURN (for himself, Mr. PRICE of North Carolina, Ms. CLARKE of New 

York, Mr. KHANNA, and Mrs. HAYES) introduced the following bill; which 
was referred to the Committee on Financial Services 

A BILL 
To establish a grant program to provide legal assistance 

to eligible tenants at risk of or subject to eviction, and 
for other purposes. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-1

tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 2

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 3

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Legal Assistance to 4

Prevent Evictions Act of 2020’’. 5

SEC. 2. EVICTIONS ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM. 6

(a) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Housing and 7

Urban Development shall establish a competitive grant 8

program to provide grants to eligible recipients to provide 9

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2 

•HR 5884 IH

legal assistance (including assistance related to pretrial 1

activities, trial activities, post-trial activities, and alter-2

native dispute resolution) at no cost to eligible tenants at 3

risk of or subject to eviction. 4

(b) APPLICATION.—To be eligible to receive a grant 5

under this section, an applicant shall submit an applica-6

tion to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and 7

containing such information as the Secretary may reason-8

ably require, including evidence of the experience of the 9

applicant providing legal assistance in residential eviction 10

matters. 11

(c) POINT SYSTEM FOR PREFERENCE FACTORS.—In 12

awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall— 13

(1) establish a system that awards points to ap-14

plicants in accordance with the preference factors 15

described in subsection (d); and 16

(2) give priority to applicants with the greatest 17

number of points under the system. 18

(d) PREFERENCE FACTORS.—The preference factors 19

for which an applicant shall be awarded points under the 20

system established pursuant to subsection (c)(1) are as 21

follows: 22

(1) EVICTION RATE PREFERENCE.—If the ap-23

plicant will use grant funds awarded under this sec-24

tion to provide services in census tracts with high 25

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3 

•HR 5884 IH

rates of eviction. In making such determinations, the 1

Secretary shall use data determined by the Secretary 2

to be the best available, or if no appropriate data is 3

available, shall make reasonable inferences to deter-4

mine the rate of eviction in a census tract. The Sec-5

retary may not require applicants to provide data on 6

the rates of eviction in the census tract in which the 7

applicant intends to provide services or award more 8

points to applicants who provide such data than to 9

applicants who do not. 10

(2) CAPACITY PREFERENCE.—If the Secretary 11

determines that the applicant has a greater capacity 12

to produce more favorable outcomes regarding evic-13

tion for eligible tenants. In making such determina-14

tions, the Secretary may consider the applicant’s— 15

(A) past experience in producing favorable 16

outcomes for households facing eviction; 17

(B) proposed use of grant funds to in-18

crease staff resources to provide legal assist-19

ance; 20

(C) demonstrated past effective use of re-21

sources to provide legal assistance; 22

(D) ability to provide services to eligible 23

tenants with limited English proficiency; and 24

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4 

•HR 5884 IH

(E) ability to effectively communicate with 1

eligible tenants with disabilities. 2

(3) PREFERENCE FOR GOVERNMENT ENTITIES 3

THAT PROMOTE TENANT RIGHTS.—With respect to 4

any applicant that is a governmental entity, if the 5

applicant has in effect laws or regulations that pro-6

mote tenant rights. In making such determinations, 7

the Secretary— 8

(A) shall consider laws or regulations es-9

tablishing a tenant’s right to— 10

(i) counsel in evictions cases; 11

(ii) withhold rent if a landlord fails to 12

provide essential services to ensure habit-13

ability of the premises; 14

(iii) deduct appliance repair costs 15

from rent owed; 16

(iv) notice of failure to pay rent or 17

other lease violation with the right to cure; 18

(v) a maximum security deposit equal 19

to one month’s rent; and 20

(vi) the expeditious return of any se-21

curity deposit after terminating a lease; 22

and 23

(B) may consider, with lesser weight given 24

than the weight given to those rights described 25

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5 

•HR 5884 IH

in subsection (A), laws or regulations estab-1

lishing a tenant’s right to— 2

(i) advance notice of rent increases; 3

(ii) advance notice of landlord entry to 4

the property; or 5

(iii) adequate time to recover aban-6

doned property after eviction. 7

Points awarded under this paragraph shall not re-8

sult in an applicant governmental entity being 9

awarded a grant that, in the absence of this para-10

graph, would have been awarded to either an appli-11

cant nonprofit entity or an applicant governmental 12

entity lacking the legal authority to enact laws or 13

regulations described in this paragraph because such 14

entity is subject to legal restrictions enacted by an-15

other governmental entity. 16

(e) RURAL EQUITY.—In awarding grants under this 17

section, the Secretary— 18

(1) shall, to the extent practicable, ensure that 19

the proportion of eligible tenants living in rural 20

areas who will receive legal assistance with grant 21

funds awarded under this section is not less than the 22

overall proportion of eligible tenants who live in 23

rural areas; and 24

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6 

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(2) may consider geographic diversity and an 1

applicant’s capacity to serve eligible tenants living in 2

rural areas. 3

(f) SUPPLEMENT, NOT SUPPLANT.—Grant funds re-4

ceived under this Act shall be used to supplement and not 5

supplant other funds used by the grantee to provide the 6

legal assistance described in subsection (a). 7

(g) REPORT.—For each year that an eligible recipient 8

receives grant funds under this section, such eligible re-9

cipient shall submit to the Secretary a report which main-10

tains attorney-client confidentiality and which excludes 11

personally identifiable information about eligible tenants. 12

Such report shall contain— 13

(1) the total number of eligible tenants that 14

were provided legal assistance using such funds; 15

(2) the estimated number of evictions avoided, 16

delayed, or resolved with other outcomes (such as 17

negotiated settlements) that are more favorable to 18

the eligible tenant than the outcomes that would 19

have been expected in the absence of counsel, and a 20

brief description of the circumstances of each case; 21

(3) the number of eligible tenants that received 22

legal assistance that reside in a dwelling unit for 23

which any subsidy or assistance for occupancy in the 24

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7 

•HR 5884 IH

dwelling unit is provided under a program adminis-1

tered by Federal, State, or local authorities; and 2

(4) demographic information about eligible ten-3

ants that received legal assistance, including race, 4

national origin, sex, disability status, household in-5

come, household size, household familial status, age 6

of the head of household, and whether tenants live 7

in an urban area, suburban area, or rural area. 8

(h) DEFINITIONS.— 9

(1) ELIGIBLE RECIPIENT.—The term ‘‘eligible 10

recipient’’ means any nonprofit or governmental en-11

tity that has experience providing no-cost legal as-12

sistance to low-income individuals. 13

(2) ELIGIBLE TENANT.—The term ‘‘eligible 14

tenant’’ means an individual who has an annual 15

household income of— 16

(A) not more than 135 percent of the Fed-17

eral poverty guidelines issued by the Secretary 18

of Health and Human Services; or 19

(B) less than 333 percent of average fair 20

market rent in the county of the individual— 21

(i) in the case of a household com-22

prised of one individual, for an efficiency; 23

and 24

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8 

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(ii) in the case of a household com-1

prised of more than one individual, for a 2

residence in which the number of bedrooms 3

would not require— 4

(I) more than two members of 5

the household to share a bedroom; 6

(II) children of different genders 7

to share a bedroom with one another; 8

or 9

(III) a household member with a 10

disability requiring medical equipment 11

to share a bedroom. 12

(3) RURAL AREA.—The term ‘‘rural area’’ 13

means a census tract that is— 14

(A) outside of a metropolitan statistical 15

area, as designated by the Office of Manage-16

ment and Budget; or 17

(B) within a metropolitan statistical area, 18

as designated by the Office of Management and 19

Budget, that is outside of the metropolitan sta-20

tistical area’s urbanized areas as designated by 21

the rural-urban commuting area code 1 (as de-22

termined by the Secretary of Agriculture), and 23

outside of tracts with a housing density of over 24

64 housing units per square mile located in the 25

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rural-urban commuting area code 2 (as deter-1

mined by the Secretary of Agriculture). 2

(4) SECRETARY.—The term ‘‘Secretary’’ means 3

the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. 4

(5) SUBURBAN AREA.—The term ‘‘suburban 5

area’’ means a census tract with a population den-6

sity of less than 2,500 inhabitants per square mile 7

that is not a rural area. 8

(6) URBAN AREA.—The term ‘‘urban area’’ 9

means a census tract with a population density of at 10

least 2,500 inhabitants per square mile. 11

Æ 

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Picture Name From Date Type
James Clyburn D-SC 02/13/2020 Sponsor
Kim Schrier D-WA 02/27/2020 Cosponsor
Mary Scanlon D-PA 02/28/2020 Cosponsor
Gregorio Sablan D-MP 02/21/2020 Cosponsor
David Price D-NC 02/13/2020 Cosponsor
Eleanor Norton D-DC 02/27/2020 Cosponsor
Barbara Lee D-CA 02/21/2020 Cosponsor
Ro Khanna D-CA 02/13/2020 Cosponsor
Jahana Hayes D-CT 02/13/2020 Cosponsor
Peter DeFazio D-OR 02/21/2020 Cosponsor
Yvette Clarke D-NY 02/13/2020 Cosponsor
Joyce Beatty D-OH 02/27/2020 Cosponsor
1 to 12 of 12 Desc 12
Date Branch Action
02/13/2020 President Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.Action By: House of Representatives
02/13/2020 President Introduced in HouseAction By: House of Representatives
Summary
Congress - Bill Number Major Title
Branch Vote Date Yes No Not Voting
Wiki






Bill TEXT Points.
This Bill has been listed with the following Subjects from Texts:
Agriculture
(3)Rural areaThe term rural area means a census tract that is—(A)outside of a metropolitan statistical area, as designated by the Office of Management and Budget; or(B)within a metropolitan statistical area, as designated by the Office of Management and Budget, that is outside of the metropolitan statistical area’s urbanized areas as designated by the rural-urban commuting area code 1 (as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture), and outside of tracts with a housing density of over 64 housing

Congress


Health
(2)Eligible tenantThe term eligible tenant means an individual who has an annual household income of—(A)not more than 135 percent of the Federal poverty guidelines issued by the Secretary of Health and Human Services; or(B)less than 333 percent of average fair market rent in the county of the individual—(i)in the case of a household comprised of one individual, for an efficiency; and(ii)in the case of a household comprised of more than one individual, for a residence in which the number of bedro

House of Representatives
House of Representatives 2020-02-13 text/xml EN Pursuant to Title 17 Section 105 of the United States Code, this file is not subject to copyright protection and is in the public domain


End Bill TEXT Points.
Date Bill Major Title
Committee Name
Subject Type