Housing Justice Project
The Housing Justice Project is an initiative established in the 2021-22 academic year with funding from the State of New Jersey that seeks to provide representation and support to tenants in landlord-tenant disputes and with other housing needs. The Project is a collaboration between Seton Hall Law School’s Center for Social Justice (CSJ) and Rutgers Law School. At Seton Hall Law School, the project is led by a team of experienced faculty and staff, including Professors Kevin B. Kelly and Andrew Darcy in the Civil Litigation Clinic, Professor Adelina Herrarte in the Health Justice Clinic, and Professor Abdul Rehman Khan in the Housing Justice and Legal Design Clinic. Also on the project are Diane K. Smith, Managing Attorney; Anne Kassalow, Pro Bono and Community Outreach Coordinator; and Professor Lori Outzs Borgen, CSJ Director. The Project is supported by Melinda Lampley-Merritt, Paralegal; Kayla Strube, Housing Justice Project Coordinator; and Valeria Barcia, Intake Specialist. The Project includes more than 50 clinic students and volunteers each year who are actively working to provide representation and support to tenants.
In the spring of 2023, the Housing Justice Project launched the New Jersey Legal Design Lab as, a social change laboratory that combines law and design to channel power into local movements. Under the leadership of Hallie Jay Pope, Director, the Lab’s first mandate is to support local movements community-led struggles for housing justice. The Housing Justice Project advocates for broader social change in the field of landlord-tenant law, and specifically focuses on the implementation and enforcement of landlord-tenant reform measures. While the State of New Jersey has implemented comprehensive reform and taken decisive action to address the worsening eviction crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, low-income tenants continue to face a significant risk of eviction.
The Housing Justice Project seeks to ensure that the landlord-tenant reforms implemented by the state are applied in a consistent and fair manner, with the goal of preventing unjust eviction and resulting homelessness among vulnerable populations. The Housing Justice Project is focused on providing legal representation and support to tenants in need and working to raise awareness and advocate for further reform to protect tenant rights.
The New Jersey Housing Justice Corps
To enhance and expand the availability of legal services to tenants with low and moderate incomes, the law schools developed the New Jersey Housing Justice Corps (NJ HJC) for law graduates, newer attorneys (less than 5 years of practice), and attorneys seeking to transition practice areas to serve as fellows with the law schools and/or with legal services organizations in New Jersey. The New Jersey Housing Justice Corps is a community of advocates committed to eradicating housing instability and addressing inequities in housing availability and quality.
Pro Bono Work
The Housing Justice Pro Bono Project at Seton Hall Law engages students in housing justice work throughout their time in law school, beginning in the first year. Students participate in pro bono projects such as a court observation project, know your rights presentations, and community outreach through canvassing in partnership with community-based organizations.
Getting Legal Help
If you are a tenant or member of a tenant organization seeking legal assistance on a housing matter, or if you or your organization are interested in community education on housing topics, please contact the Center for Social Justice at 973-642-8700 or [email protected].
Reports Issued by the Housing Justice Project
Housing Justice Project in the News
Open Thank You Letter to the State Legislature from New Jersey Law Schools
Speaker Craig J. Coughlin visits Seton Hall Law to discuss the Housing Justice Project
Seton Hall Law Managing Attorney Diane Smith on New Jersey Courts' Struggle to Fairly
Apply Eviction Law
Publications by Housing Justice Project Members
Meet the Housing Justice Project Team
Lori Outzs Borgen
Associate Clinical Professor and Director, Center for Social Justice, Director of Externships and Pro Bono Service Program
J.D., Columbia Law School
B.A., Harvard University
[email protected] | 973-642-8700/8480 | Rm 120 | VIEW PROFILE
Andrew M. Darcy
Anne McLane Kassalow
Pro Bono and Outreach Coordinator, Housing Justice Project
J.D., Seton Hall Law School | B.A., University of Maryland
[email protected] | 973-642-8700
Kevin B. Kelly
Abdul Rehman Khan
B.A., Seton Hall University
[email protected] | 973-642-8700
Hallie Jay Pope
Director, NJ Legal Design Lab
J.D., Harvard Law School | A.B., Brown University