Fifty years after adopting its current name, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid is updating its branding with the release of its 2022 annual report, the first document to bear JALA’s new logo.
Titled “Housing Takes Center Stage,” the report shines a spotlight on JALA’s work to prevent unlawful evictions and foreclosures, ensure fair housing laws are enforced, and resolve other landlord-tenant issues.
Out of the 6,724 cases JALA handled in 2022, JALA closed 2,618 housing cases, representing nearly 40% of its closed cases.
“Preserving shelter is our highest and best use, and we remain focused on that mission,” the report states.
JALA’s annual report also cites a recent report by the City of Jacksonville’s Special Committee on Critical Quality of Life Issues, which states that “The City should work with and financially support the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid office in efforts to reduce eviction rates, human displacement and homelessness.”
That work gets a boost in Mayor Donna Deegan’s new budget, which recommends greater funding for legal aid.
JALA’s 2022 annual report includes a full-page infographic with data on JALA’s services in housing and other areas, including family law and domestic violence prevention, veterans’ legal services, disability benefits, and services provided to seniors and to children with a combination of medical and legal issues.
Among the data on JALA’s services in the annual report:
286 evictions avoided through attorney intervention and $472,832 in financial relief secured for renters
124 foreclosures prevented and $468,415 secured in financial relief for homeowners
3,643 people used JALA’s online eviction prevention tool
$661,000 in class action settlements for landlord’s failure to rectify substandard conditions and refund deposits for 2,836 tenants
$939,725 in income and assets protected by averting predatory lending and illegal debt collection
$1,164,497 in family support secured for