Also, team of PILP, Public Law Center, and Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips secure $3.5 million for affordable housing projects in the City of Santa Ana.
Public Interest Law Project (PILP)
August 1, 2014
Organizations mentioned/involved: Public Law Center
The Public Interest Law Project (PILP) is a statewide support center that provides training, advocacy, and litigation support in housing and public benefits law. Through partnerships with the local legal services programs, PILP seeks to increase opportunities for the most vulnerable residents in California. Here are two excellent projects that PILP has been working on to assist low income individuals.
Rural General Assistance Project seeks to close the gap in benefits for rural indigent residents in poverty.
Across the State, thousands of the poorest Californians are routinely denied General Assistance benefits—a benefit of “last resort” available only to those who do not qualify for other cash aid benefits. PILP began the Rural General Assistance Project (Rural GAP) to increase access to these critical benefits, understanding that there are unique challenges to accessing benefits in rural areas. The project seeks to train advocates on General Assistance law, to increase outreach and education, advocate for better policies and regulations, and engage in litigation if necessary. Advocates are invited to the first General Assistance Summit on September 22 to begin creating a year-long work plan to combat the low caseload numbers throughout California.
Cuenca v. Department of Finance—Advocates secure $3.5 million dollars in funding for affordable housing projects in the City of Santa Ana
With the passage of the Dissolution Act in 2011, which provides for the wind down of redevelopment activities in California, local jurisdictions and low-income people found that money previously allocated to affordable housing projects was now in jeopardy, and in danger of being reallocated to other entities. The Dissolution Act provides for Department of Finance (DOF) review of all development instruments to see whether this would constitute an “enforceable obligation” under the Dissolution Law. Although Habitat for Humanity had a development agreement signed long before the Dissolution Act went into effect, DOF, in its sole discretion, determined that it was not an enforceable obligation, thereby denying crucial funds for housing for low-income families in the City of Santa Ana. PILP, along with the Public Law Center, and Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips LLP challenged the denial of an agreement to fund Habitat for Humanity to produce affordable housing in the City of Santa Ana. The Superior Court agreed—not only was the agreement an enforceable obligation, the money had to be paid out of a fund of money that was on deposit prior to the Dissolution Act.
For more information on these projects please visit PILP’s website at PILPCa.org.Tags: Housing