Grant Program Focuses on Community Redevelopment
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Posted by: Meg Wickham
KBF Press Release: Grant Program Focuses on Community Redevelopment and Foreclosure Prevention Legal Assistance
April 30, 2019
The Kansas Bar Foundation (KBF) is now receiving proposals for its 2020 CRHA Grant Program. CRHA is the Community Redevelopment and Homeowners Assistance grant program which provides funding to legal aid organizations in Kansas for the provision of legal services relating to foreclosure prevention and community redevelopment benefitting Kansas residents. Legal aid organizations eligible for these grants include any not-for-profit organization (or distinct part of such organization) in Kansas that regularly provide civil legal assistance to low-income individuals or groups without charge or at a greatly reduced cost.
“We are excited to have been given this opportunity to help revitalize and stabilize low- and moderate-income communities and help our fellow Kansans by removing legal barriers to housing,” said Amy Fellows Cline, President, Kansas Bar Foundation.
Kansas Legal Services (KLS) received a CRHA grant in 2019. An example of how they have used the funding is the story of an elderly Kansan who owned her home for over ten years but was struggling with health issues and defaulted on her mortgage. A default judgment was entered against her and KLS was able to enter an appearance and had the judgement set aside. Eventually the monthly mortgage payment was reduced, and the foreclosure dismissed, which allowed the client to stay in her home.
In 2018, KLS hosted four expungement clinics in Wichita, Manhattan, Topeka and Kansas City. The clinics were funded by a CRHA grant and conducted in conjunction with local bar associations. Those eligible to participate included people who may have faced serious barriers to employment and or housing due to having a criminal record. An expungement is the sealing of a criminal conviction. After an expungement, qualifying criminal convictions can only be discovered by certain individuals, and only has to be disclosed in certain situations.
“Thanks to Kansas Bar Foundation funding and to the 140 attorney, paralegal, law student, court personnel, and college student volunteers, who were trained in record clearing, over 750 expungements were filed in Kansas in 2018. This helped countless individuals obtain better job opportunities, better housing, and open doors that were previously not available to them. Without this funding, these expungements would not have been possible,” stated Christine Campbell, Statewide Pro Bono Director at KLS.
Since 2015, the KBF has distributed $925,000 in CRHA grants. Please visit https://www.ksbar.org/mpage/crha_grant to learn about the grant process and eligibility requirements. Proposals for 2020 funding are due by June 28, 2019.
Anne Woods, Director of Public Services/IOLTA Director
Kansas Bar Association/Kansas Bar Foundation
Direct: (785) 861-8838
Main: (785) 234-5696
About the Kansas Bar Foundation
For over 60 years, the Kansas Bar Foundation has funded opportunities for the citizens of Kansas for charitable and educational projects that foster the welfare, honor, and integrity of the legal system by improving its accessibility, equality, and uniformity, and by enhancing the public opinion of the role of lawyers in our society. Since 1984, with funding from Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts, the Foundation has awarded more than $4 million in grants to provide legal services to those who cannot afford them and for law related educational programs. www.ksbar.org/kbf