Council OKs right to free lawyer for people facing eviction

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle City Council has voted to give free legal representation to renters facing eviction. The Seattle Times reports advocates say the legislation is a small investment that will help people stay in their homes and forestall the more expensive consequences of homelessness. It passed unanimously Monday with a notable change from Council President M. Lorena González making the offer available to tenants who are “indigent.” Indigent is broadly defined as someone unable to pay for a lawyer for the eviction proceeding. No documentation would be necessary beyond the person signing a form saying they couldn’t afford a lawyer. González said the change was necessary to ensure the law survives legal challenges.