Current Cases & Projects

Pittsburgh neighborhood organizations head to court to defend inclusionary zoning, affordable housing, and diverse neighborhoods

Pittsburgh is facing an escalating crisis in housing affordability. In response, the City passed an inclusionary zoning ordinance this spring. The Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh is seeking to block this law in federal court in a lawsuit filed May 12, 2022. Today, the people of Pittsburgh are fighting back. Organizations representing neighborhoods where housing costs are soaring filed a motion to intervene in the case and defend inclusionary zoning, affordable housing, and diverse communities.

Taking on Unlawful Restrictions on COVID-19 Emergency Relief for Business Owners with Criminal Records

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act, including provisions for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to issue $350 billion in loans and grants to aid small businesses. Aid was provided through two programs, the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program. While the CARES Act passed by Congress […]

Protecting Our Right to Vote in 2020

Amid a once-a-century pandemic and a drumbeat of misinformation and threats from prominent national politicians, we have spent 2020 protecting the right to vote in Pennsylvania.

Taking on Gun Safety Preemption in Pennsylvania

An initiative of the Richard Berkman & Toni Seidl Health Care Justice Project. The plaintiffs in the action, the City of Philadelphia, residents who have lost family members to gun violence, and CeaseFirePA filed a lawsuit in state court that claims the Pennsylvania General Assembly handcuffs local governments so that they cannot enact or enforce […]

Philadelphia Federal Detention Center detainees file class action lawsuit demanding protection from COVID-19

An initiative of the Richard Berkman & Toni Seidl Health Care Justice Project. UPDATE July 8, 2021 — Prisoners in FDC Philadelphia have concluded their case. The agreement to end the case comes after the FDC has made COVID-19 vaccination freely available to all prisoners and staff and has agreed to show all prisoners a video […]

Know Your Rights as a Job Applicant with a Criminal Record in Pennsylvania

Your Rights When You’re Applying for a Job with a Criminal Record In Philadelphia The Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards Ordinance (“Ban the Box”) helps ensure that employers make hiring and other employment decisions based on work qualifications instead of a person’s criminal record. Under the ordinance, it is against the law for employers to […]

Renters United / Inquilinxs en la Lucha Philadelphia

The majority of renters in Philadelphia are experiencing a housing crisis, with three main components: an eviction crisis, a health crisis, and an affordability crisis. Every year, 1 in 14 renters experience an eviction filing—not including the illegal evictions that take place off the books. Many renters live in unsafe housing, which drives stark negative […]

Taking on Gun Violence in Philadelphia

An initiative of the Richard Berkman & Toni Seidl Health Care Justice Project. In Philadelphia, gun violence is an epidemic. In 2018, in addition to the 249 Philadelphians killed in shootings, over 1,100 people were shot and survived, leaving many with lifelong disabilities. This violence does not affect everyone in the city equally: nearly 85 […]

Community Benefit Agreements: Wynnefield Advocacy and Development

Community Benefit Agreements, or CBAs, are contracts between community-based organizations and developers that establish developers’ commitments to provide a range of benefits related to a proposed project. Meaningful CBAs, with substantive goals, transparent negotiation, and measures of accountability, can be used to address environmental impacts, educational gaps, housing insecurity, and other pressing issues in communities […]

Taking on source of income discrimination in Philadelphia

The widespread refusal to take housing assistance keeps low-income renters concentrated in disadvantaged neighborhoods, disproportionately affects black families, and undercuts the point of the Housing Choice Voucher program.