UDC-DCSL Housing Clinic Files Suit To Save Senior Citizens' Home From Private School Purchase
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Posted by: Jordan Uhl
E: firstname.lastname@example.org; P: 202-274-5257
Washington, DC—Today, the students in University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law’s Housing and Consumer Law Clinic took an important step towards protecting their clients’ rights to choose where they live just like those residents of DC who are not disabled by filing a complaint to prohibit the sale of The Washington Home to Sidwell Friends School, the highly-selective Quaker private school.
"Two of our clients have lived at the Washington Home for over 20 years and the other two for almost a decade. The Washington Home is all of our clients’ literal home," Norrinda Brown Hayat, Director of the UDC-DCSL Housing & Consumer Law Clinic, said. "The District’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act gives every tenant in DC, including our clients, the right to organize and purchase their home or assign their rights to purchase to a third party when their landlord decides to sell. Here, that third party could have very well been Sidwell or it could have been a nursing home provider who would have allowed the residents to stay in place. The District’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act gives every tenant in DC, including our clients, the right to organize and purchase their home or assign their rights to purchase to a third party when their landlord decides to sell."
"I am so proud of our talented and hardworking faculty and students in the Housing and Consumer Clinic for taking on the representation of vulnerable seniors in our community at a time of crisis," Shelley Broderick, UDC-DCSL Dean, said. "This case reflects the spirit of the law school in fighting the good fight for those in need."
The suit could have been avoided had The Washington Home complied with the law, Hayat explained.
"The Washington Home, instead of offering the notice as required under the law, intentionally hid the fact of the sale and denied our clients their rights under DC law. There must be legal consequences for such actions especially when a company preys on disabled elders," she said.
All UDC-DCSL students benefit from two years of practical training through the school's clinical program. The clinics, which have consistently been ranked in the Top 10 nationally, represent a significant departure from what has become traditional legal education. While in clinics, students work on ongoing cases with clients under the supervision of an attorney-professor. More information on UDC-DCSL's clinic program can be found here.