Fair Housing Law Project (FHLP)
Fair Housing Law Project (FHLP) works to ensure that all people may freely choose a place to live without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, source of income or disability; their operation of a home daycare; or whether they have children in their family.
Buena Vista Mobile Home Park Preservation Plan Voted In!
For almost four years, the Law Foundation has been representing the over 400 lower-income and mostly Latino residents of Buena Vista Mobilehome Park, the last remaining mobilehome park in Palo Alto, to prevent this valuable and vulnerable community's displacement after the park's owner announced he would close the park.
After years of advocacy--including adminstrative advocacy, negotiation, fundraising, attempts at purchase, and, ultimately, litigation--there seems to be light at the end of the tunnelf for these residents.
The Housing Authority of Santa Clara County has announced a partnership with the City of Palo Alto and Santa Clara County, to acquire the mobilehome park and preserve it as a mobilehome park for the foreseeable future, and as affordable housing, indefinitely.
We hope to announce finalization of this plan in the summer of 2016, which will bring an end to years of fear and stress for the residents, and the end to the Law Foundation's ongoing litigation efforts to save the community.
About Fair Housing Law Project
Fair Housing Law Project (FHLP) works to ensure that all people may freely choose a place to live without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, source of income, disability, operation of a home daycare, or whether they have children in their family.
How FHLP Helps
- Free legal advice and representation for victims of discrimination
- Impact litigation
- Educational workshops and technical assistance for community groups, public officials, apartment associations, and staff at community-based organizations
- Policy advocacy
FHLP Works in the Following Issue Areas
- Denial of housing to individuals and families for discriminatory reasons
- Illegal harassment in housing by, for example, rental property managers and homeowners associations
- Denials of reasonable accommodations in housing
- Discriminatory, predatory or illegal mortgage lending and servicing, including reverse mortgages
- Mortgage lending-related scams
- Predatory slum housing conditions
- Displacement of low-income and diverse communities leading to segregation
- Governmental entities’ actions contributing to housing discrimination
FHLP Client Stories
Imagine coming home to find your front door ripped off its hinges and all of your family’s belongings scattered in the front yard. This is exactly what happened to Imelda and her hree children when real estate investors bought their rented home to “flip” it for a quick profit.
Unknown to Imelda, her landlord had stopped making mortgage payments, and the house was foreclosed on. The investment company that purchased the house then illegally evicted her family with no notice whatsoever. Imelda and her three children had to sleep in her car for almost a week. Fair Housing Law Project (FHLP) has represented tenants like Imelda and her family in fair housing cases for the past twenty years and has been working in the foreclosure arena since the crisis began in 2007. In this case, FHLP attorneys filed suit against the investors, and JAMS agreed to mediate the case pro bono. A favorable settlement was reached, giving the family money for new housing and the children’s college funds.
The AmosesDuring the last recession, many homeowners were faced with the threat of foreclosure and the loss of their homes. This happened to the Amoses. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Lisa Amos was forced to retire from the San Jose Police Department, where her husband Earl is a police officer. Concerned that the resulting drop in their income would make it hard for them to pay the mortgage on their home, the Amoses contacted their mortgage lender about having their loan modified with lower payments. Unfortunately, even though the bank agreed to change their payments, which the Amoses dutifully made, the bank suddenly notified them that they were in default on their mortgage and that foreclosure proceedings would be initiated. Learning of the situation, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s consumer protection unit referred their case to Fair Housing Law Project. It became clear to our FHLP attorneys that the bank had violated California state law and the National Mortgage Settlement by proceeding with foreclosure while a valid loan modification plan was in place. FHLP attorneys sprung into action, contacting the bank and making it clear that FHLP would file a lawsuit against the bank if it did not rescind the foreclosure. In short order, the loan was reinstated and the foreclosure was rescinded, saving the Amoses’ home. FHLP’s advocacy in the foreclosure arena is a key component of the work of a network of nonprofit providers in our region called “Foreclosure Help of Santa Clara County” that FHLP helped found.
GeorgeGeorge is a senior veteran who owned his home outright. He is an animal lover who struggles with hoarding behavior and had taken in numerous stray cats from the neighborhood. George contacted FHLP after the court appointed a receiver at the city’s request to address neighbor complaints about clutter and his cats. The city sought a full-scale remodeling of George’s home that would have resulted in a lien of over $120,000 against his home. FHLP successfully negotiated with the city to limit the receiver’s work to remedying code violations, rather than cosmetic remodeling, thereby limiting the project cost by approximately 30%. FHLP also persuaded the city to fund the receiver’s work using a zero-interest, fifty-year deferred loan to ensure that George would not lose his home if he were ever unable to make loan payments on his fixed income. FHLP also worked with George to limit the number of cats in his home and to change his hoarding behaviors. After more than two years of negotiation, the receiver completed and the city approved the remediation project. The city recently agreed not to oppose dismissal of the case against George in an upcoming hearing.
Intake line: (408) 280-2452
Address: Fair Housing Law Project
Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
152 North Third Street, 3rd Floor
San Jose, CA 95112
Map: Click here
Fax: (408) 293-0106
E-Mail: Send E-Mail
FHLP provides free legal services to eligible clients. In litigation matters, clients may be asked to pay for court filing and other fees, depending on their ability and FHLP's resources. Client in litigation and administrative complaints may agree to allow FHLP to recover its costs and fees in a settlement or award from the liable party.
FHLP prioritizes housing discrimination, illegal mortgage lending, gentrification and displacement of low-income and diverse communities leading to segregation, and predatory slum conditions cases in Silicon Valley.
Please contact FHLP to find out if we can help you. If FHLP is unable to help you, we may be able to suggest other useful resources.
Please note that FHLP has limited staff and resources to serve clients. Unfortunately, we cannot represent every client who has a meritorious legal case. The delivery of services in a priority case will be dependent upon case acceptance guidelines, the availability of services from other sources, financial resources and available staff, which may vary from time to time.