In order to prevent homelessness before it happens, Housing Families provides free legal advice to help clients stay in their homes, including free legal services like mediation, representation in court, referrals, and legal advice, all in the effort to achieve greater housing equity and well-being.

The Challenge

At Housing Families, we work with individuals and families who experience homelessness, but also those who are at-risk of losing their homes. In many instances, low-income families and individuals are unable to afford legal services that can help them avoid eviction and remain in their home, and Housing Families offers free lawyers and counsel to those who may require assistance.


Housing Families is the only agency in its core service area providing free legal services to low-income households


according to the Justice Index, for every 10k Massachusetts residents living in poverty there are under 3 free lawyers available

Our Solution


year over year growth in people who received Housing Families’ free legal services from 2020 to 2021


evictions prevented annually by the Housing Families legal team

The National Alliance to End Homelessness has recognized Housing Families’ free legal services program as a best practice, which many other organizations have implemented.

Our Services

Our free Legal Services team provides no-cost legal representation, advice, outreach, and referrals to people with low incomes who would otherwise struggle to gain access to counsel. The program focuses on providing free legal advice on housing, eviction prevention (including resolving disputes with landlords), retaining subsidies, and other civil issues that can impact a person’s ability to remain in their home. Housing Families offerings also include landlord mediation services.

The CDC moratorium is no longer in effect but there are other protections that can help keep people in their homes. An important part of our work is making sure our clients understand their legal rights and know how to assert them. We also connect tenants to homelessness prevention funding and help them navigate through the application process.

Heather Van Orman, Esq.

Senior Attorney and Legislative Affairs & Policy Manager, Housing Families