Jacksonville Area Legal Aid

Florida Supreme Court exterior
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

A ruling from the Florida Supreme Court puts limits on how legal aid clinics can use their funds, potentially restricting the aid available to low-income Floridians who need representation in civil court. 

Florida Supreme Court
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

If you are accused of a crime, you are entitled to a lawyer, even if you can’t afford one. But in civil cases, — things like evictions, foreclosures, or wrongful denial of government assistance — there is no guarantee of an attorney. 

Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

Floridians facing eviction because of non-payment due to the coronavirus pandemic now have a new tool in their legal toolbox.

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect,” we have an update on President Donald Trump’s proposed $1 trillion transportation spending bill from the Fiorentino Group’s Marty Fiorentino (01:16), who was recently in Washington working with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on infrastructure spending. We also talked about upcoming toll roads and express lanes on the First Coast with the Florida Department of Transportation’s Mary Justino and Hampton Ray (26:54). Jacksonville attorney Michael Freed and Jacksonville Area Legal Aid President and CEO Jim Kowalski (36:35) talked about an upcoming event. The latest edition of “Moveable Feast” hosted by Leigh Court featured Dana Stallings (41:10), and WJCT music director David Luckin (49:48) discussed this weekend’s Jacksonville Jazz Festival and corresponding programing on “Electro Lounge.” 

   

Vince Kong

In our Chasing the Dream series, WJCT looked at the thousands of Jacksonville residents on the wait list for housing vouchers, as well as as those struggling to avoid eviction from public housing.

Now, the series examines options available to people who qualify for public housing but, for one reason or another, choose to live somewhere else.

Chasing the Dream

The deplorable conditions at the local low-income housing project Eureka Gardens captured national headlines when it came to light residents were living with dangerous mold, leaky gas pipes, and dilapidated stairs. But those conditions aren’t unique to that complex. 

Many local, low-income residents deal with these conditions every day.

For poor people in Jacksonville, finding housing that’s both affordable and livable can be hard to come by. Finding shelter often means settling for dangerously run-down apartments and dealing with the constant threat of eviction.

WJCT’s "Chasing the Dream" series, launching this week on 89.9 FM, examines what housing is available when you’re poor and what’s being done to help against a public housing system that’s underfunded nationwide.

We discuss the issue with WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo, and attorneys Katherine Hanson and Jeff Haynie of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.

Fair Housing

April marks Fair Housing Month.

It’s a time to commemorate the 1968 passage of the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing. Citizens cannot be discriminated against based on gender, race, color, national origin, religion, disability or family status. Local ordinances may offer additional protection.

The 2016 Florida Fair Housing Summit takes place next week in Orlando.

Newly Renamed Jax Journey To Receive Additional Funding

Oct 23, 2015

The Jacksonville Journey has a shorter name along with increased funding. An oversight committee decided Thursday the crime-prevention initiative will now be called the Jax Journey.

Anna Hamilton

The federal Fair Housing Act was enacted in 1968 after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. to fight housing discrimination and promote equal opportunity.

Last month, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid workers commemorated its passage with a visit to St. Johns County.

It was an April morning. On the trolley tour itinerary: two Civil Rights tours, one of St. Augustine’s past and another of its present, both with an eye toward the future.