City Hall, 500 Broadway, Room 301 ∙ Chelsea, MA 02150 Phone: 617.466.4180 ∙ Fax: 617.466‐4195

For Immediate Release

Sayou Cooper
500 Broadway, Room 101 Chelsea, MA 02150

Launch of Chelsea Housing Legal Clinic

City of Chelsea Launches Legal Clinic for Residential Evictions

Housing legal aid clinic to assist Chelsea residents in landlord negotiations and eviction proceedings

Chelsea, MA – 9/28/20 – The City of Chelsea, through its Department of Housing and Community Development and Law Department, is launching a Housing Legal Clinic to assist residents facing eviction or other housing issues as the eviction moratorium is set to expire. A live press conference will be held at Chelsea City Hall on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 2 p.m.

Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, residents of Chelsea are facing critical economic hardship. As a community already vulnerable to housing insecurity, the City of Chelsea, in collaboration with community partners, has decided to fund a housing legal clinic to assist residents with a variety of housing issues ranging from landlord mediation to legal representation and services for eviction proceedings.

With a possible lift of the statewide eviction moratorium on October 17th, the City of Chelsea is concerned about a crisis of mass homelessness. Even with the moratorium in place, residents with less formal housing arrangements, such as sub‐letters, are already being forced from their homes or are subject to persistent harassment. Common causes are inability to pay rent and disputes that arise from living in close quarters during the stay‐at‐home order. As Covid‐19 continues to spread in the community, lease holders and owners who may have previously been happy to have a tenant are increasingly concerned about having additional individuals in the home. The movement of residents scrambling to find new housing risks further spread of the coronavirus.

The City has signed a contract with Chelsea Legal Services, Inc. (CLS), the first and only Chelsea‐based legal services non‐profit, run by attorney and long‐time Chelsea resident Mark C. Rossi. The contract will fund CLS to expand their pro bono and low‐cost legal services in the housing sector for Chelsea residents. Rossi and his team offer legal services in English and Spanish and will use interpretation services to assist speakers of other languages. Due to the pandemic, the CLS offices are unable to take walk‐ins but Chelsea residents can call (617) 466‐3037 for an initial inquiry and to schedule an appointment. CLS will coordinate closely with Greater Boston Legal Services, the Volunteer Lawyers Project, Chelsea Housing Court, and local community based organizations.