Client’s rent skyrockets from $75 a month to $22,000

Attorney Courtney, with long wavy light brown hair, smiles in the background; in the foreground is our tenant's notice holding him responsible for a $22,708 housing bill.

The notice was official. The Housing Authority documented a $21,807 change in our client’s rent. He was a tenant living in subsidized housing, over the age of 60, living on disability benefits and he was being threatened with eviction, charged with an amount he did not owe.

Housing Attorney Courtney Arthur explained, “It was clear the Housing Authority had miscalculated his benefits.” But proving it wasn’t a quick fix. The client, himself went in person and tried to explain the situation. When that didn’t work, he turned to Legal Aid.

“It took some time to get those in charge to unravel where the error happened. He had been paid a lump sum of disability benefits. But that was an outlier, a one-time occurrence. Not a month-to-month benefit, ” Arthur says. After proving the man’s case, she got the Housing Authority to stop plans for eviction and correct their miscalculation.

“It goes to show, you can do all the right things and mistakes that are not yours can make life difficult,” says Arthur. “But we’re on the side of justice for those like our client, who need someone in their corner, making the system accountable.”