Early on in the pandemic, the Law Centres Network, along with other charities, recognised that the impact of lockdown would inevitably have a knock-on effect on housing: with household income reduced for so many, essential payments would be missed, leaving many at risk of losing their homes. Indeed, current estimates show that since the start of the pandemic over 800,000 private renters are in rent arrears with many more in arrears whilst living in social housing.
In order to alleviate this, our housing teams, working across five boroughs, successfully campaigned for a stay on evictions last summer and worked tirelessly to help people stay in their homes, challenge unlawful evictions and aid those fleeing domestic violence – a rising issue as a result of the pandemic. Although restrictions are now being lifted, there is a latent need for advice and representation and the team continues to work and campaign in these areas.
We are therefore delighted that our housing team leader for Croydon, Jeinsen Lam, has been shortlisted for the Housing Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year 2021 in recognition of his outstanding work.
Patrick Marples, CEO at the Law Centre, said of Jeinsen:
‘Jeinsen is a strong and passionate advocate of social welfare law. He is a radical lawyer embedded in the traditions of early law centres wanting to make a meaningful and lasting difference in the society that we live in. He listens to his clients, empathises with their situation, does not judge and for that reason he is able to build a very strong rapport with his clients. Many of his clients comment that Jeinsen is the first person who has really listened to, and believed them. He fights for his clients and has a very high success rate.
‘We are all thrilled he has been shortlisted for the Housing Lawyer of the Year Award LALYs – it is much deserved.’