Colorado Poverty Law Project

A nonprofit organization

$114,425 raised by 225 donors

Homelessness prevention and housing security are the core of CPLP’s mission, and representing tenants to prevent evictions is imperative to keeping individuals housed. Unfortunately, there is an inherent power imbalance between tenants and landlords which disproportionately impacts historically underrepresented groups. To address this inequity, CPLP approaches homelessness prevention in several ways, including free legal advice and representation, landlord and tenant mediation, housing navigation, housing legal education, and policy advocacy. No one should experience homelessness due to lack of housing justice, and CPLP ensures cost-burdened individuals and historically underrepresented groups have access to legal services and housing advocacy. 

Testimonials

Stephanie, 22 (whose name has been changed for privacy), was caring for herself, her grandma, and her two young siblings when the family received a demand for rent payment. They were unable to afford it – her grandma's social security check was lost in transit, and Stephanie's job didn't pay enough to cover the full amount herself.

Stephanie stepped up to advocate for her family. She reached out to CPLP for support and our team immediately connected her with rental assistance, filed an Answer, and negotiated a dismissal of the eviction case before hearing. The family received three months of rent payment.

CPLP serves over 4,000 individuals each year, many of whom are your neighbors like Stephanie working hard to advocate for their families. 

Mission

Colorado Poverty Law Project helps prevent homelessness through legal representation, education, and advocacy.

Background Statement

CPLP began as a free legal clinic over a decade ago to support tenants with housing legal issues. Since then, we’ve grown to serve over 2,500 Coloradans each year with homelessness prevention through legal representation, education, and advocacy. With our team of staff attorneys and over 300 volunteer attorneys, we provide free legal advice and representation, legal clinics, know-your-rights trainings, a mobile home initiative, young adult programs, and housing navigation services. We also pursue systemic changes through policy and legislative advocacy.

CPLP’s Just Housing Program provides Coloradans—particularly households with income below 30% AMI, including the BIPOC community, older adults, people with disabilities, and other historically underrepresented groups—with free legal advice and representation. Under this umbrella, CPLP also provides seminars and Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs for attorneys and supportive service providers. The Mobile Home Initiative assists mobile home residents with eviction and related matters and won an Eagle Award this year, one of the highest achievements for the Colorado housing community. Our Young Adult Initiative collaborates with community groups and tenant advocates with lived experience to provide legal services to young adults ages 18-28 to stop the cycle of homelessness before it starts. Our Housing Navigation program assists individuals in securing stable housing. New this year, CPLP also launched a Fair Housing Initiative to counsel and represent Colorado residents on issues of unlawful housing practices.

On a systemic level, we work with partners and lawmakers to pass housing legislation. This year’s bills included HB23-1186, which allows individuals to participate in their eviction hearings remotely, and SB23-184, which ensures renters will not be required to earn more than 2x the cost of rent or pay more than 2 months' rent for security deposit, renters with a voucher will not be denied housing based on their credit scores, and fair housing violations will be available to raise as an affirmative defense to an eviction. This is landmark legislation—Colorado is the first state to place a 2x limit on minimum income requirements. We also led important pieces of legislation benefiting mobile home park residents last year, including changes to the MHPA (HB22-1287) and the Loan Program for Resident-owned Mobile Home Park Communities (SB22-160).

All CPLP services are provided free of charge. Representation is provided by staff attorneys and our expansive network of volunteer attorneys. The organization is led by our founders, board members, and Executive Director Shannon MacKenzie, who all have been integral to CPLP's accomplishments and development.

Organization Data

Summary

Organization name

Colorado Poverty Law Project

other names

CPLP

Year Established

2014

Tax id (EIN)

47-1066158

Category

Crime & Legal-Related

Organization Size

Medium Organization

Address

66 S Logan St
Denver, CO 80209

Service areas

CO, US

Phone

3035322641

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