Poverty Law Project

The Poverty Law Project advances the law to eliminate the injustice of poverty.

We help people remain in their homes by fighting evictions and foreclosures, and we improve the quality of those homes by enforcing the rental housing code on both an individual and statewide level.

We help people with disabilities who are in danger of losing their benefits, and we help people who are entitled to unemployment compensation benefits but have been denied.

We represent victims of domestic violence in housing, consumer, and other cases that allow them to become economically independent of their abusers.

Through our Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, we represent low-income people who have tax disputes with the IRS.

During the COVID-19 emergency, we helped summarize new laws, rules, benefits, financial help and procedures through virtual town hall events and on a dedicated COVID-19 legal help and benefits page.

Our legislative advocacy on behalf of low-income people addresses the systemic and institutional causes of poverty. Because so many Vermonters have lost their jobs or are otherwise living on less due to COVID-19, we lobbied the legislature for an eviction moratorium and funding to keep Vermonters housed during the pandemic. That effort resulted in Vermont Act 101 that “stayed” (paused) all evictions until 30 days after the governor declared an end to the state of emergency, and the allocation of $25 million in Federal Coronavirus Relief funding that is being used to pay back rent and provide money to move.

In addition, we have been representing an unprecedented number of Vermonters in unemployment insurance cases, and have been advocating for legislative changes to the law that eliminate unnecessary barriers to collecting unemployment.

Also during the pandemic, our Low-Income Taxpayer Advocate has provided outreach, education and legal assistance to help Vermonters receive federal stimulus checks.

The Poverty Law Project has developed online materials on a variety of legal topics. Access them on our VTLawHelp.org website.

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