renters' rights housing clinic
Nakea Brown previously lived at the Rolland Curtis Gardens apartment complex, which is being redeveloped. She found affordable housing elsewhere with help from the USC Housing Law Clinic. | USC PHOTO BY RON MACKOVICH

For Kishi Hundley, help from the USC Housing Law Clinic came just in time. After eight years at the Rolland Curtis Gardens apartments in South L.A.’s Exposition Park neighborhood, Hundley had to move out last year. A relocation allowance of $1,375 wasn’t enough to get Hundley and her daughter into a new home.

“I didn’t have a place to go when I moved out, so I used the money for a motel room, gas and food. That money went fast. I was so weary,” Hundley says. “I’m thankful I got in touch with the USC Housing [Law] Clinic because that’s how I survived.”

We look to make real impact as we partner with our neighbors on education, economic development and even housing.

Thomas S. Sayles

Legal representatives from the clinic negotiated a new agreement, helping Hundley and 40 other tenants in 20 units receive about $7,000 each to find new homes. Hundley, who is studying psychology at Los Angeles City College, moved into a one-bedroom apartment around the corner from her old home.

With affordable housing in short supply in South L.A., legal help and advocacy from organizations like the USC Housing Law Clinic can be a lifeline. The clinic provides referrals, information and representation at no charge for residents who face discrimination, eviction, landlord disputes and other housing problems. In the past year, the clinic has managed about 80 matters for clients, including rental agreement negotiations and finding translators for languages like Aramaic and Korean.

“We look to make real impact as we partner with our neighbors on education, economic development and even housing,” says Thomas S. Sayles, USC senior vice president for university relations. The clinic is part of USC Civic Engagement, a university program that supports and promotes more than 400 community initiatives in the neighborhoods surrounding the school’s campuses.

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