Managing Attorney Rebecca Lindhurst Recognized for Excellence
Bread for the City Managing Attorney Rebecca Lindhurst received the Washington Council of Lawyers 2015 Legal Services Award last Wednesday night. This recognition is well-deserved, a long time coming, and all of us at Bread couldn’t be more proud of her.
For more than 13 years now at Bread for the City, Rebecca has represented hundreds of clients at risk of losing their housing. She has fought to prevent evictions, gain abatements of rent, save Housing Choice Vouchers, and restore families to their homes – and her commitment to this work is unparalleled. Rebecca has worked countless hours and skipped scores of lunches. She not only works extremely hard to help her clients, but she feels each defeat and victory personally and almost as intensely as they do. But her individual client work is only the beginning.
When Rebecca first came to DC in 2002, virtually no one was working with tenant associations and developers to prevent the pervasive loss of low-income housing in the District. Rebecca was instrumental in changing that. Teaming with law firms and other legal services providers, Rebecca began the hard work of trying to maintain, and even increase, the level of low-income housing available to those who simply cannot afford higher rents. Her early work included representing tenants in four buildings in their battle against one of DC’s most notorious slumlords. She went on to assist several other tenant groups featured in the Washington Post’s Forced Out series, which ultimately resulted in the Fenty Administration’s filing of a lawsuit against some of the city’s worst landlords. Most recently she represented the tenants of a building in Ward 7 in their year-long battle to purchase their apartment building and convert it to a limited equity cooperative.
Rebecca has fought for tenants in almost every way possible; in D.C. Superior Court; in federal District Court; in purchasing their buildings, reducing their rents, getting repairs, or just so they can stay in their units. She has also made impactful contributions beyond her individual representation. She helped establish the Landlord/Tenant Court-Based Legal Services (“Attorney of the Day”) Project and the new Housing Right to Counsel Pilot Project, a joint endeavor of Bread for the City, the Legal Aid Society of D.C., and Legal Counsel for the Elderly, which is working to guarantee representation to tenants who live in subsidized housing and are facing eviction. She has advocated before the D.C. City Council countless times, has helped write and rewrite D.C. Housing Authority regulations and is currently co-chair of the Affordable Housing Alliance – a community coalition of organizations, developers, housing advocates, and tenants who are working together to increase the number of affordable housing units in the District, particularly for residents whose incomes are at or below 30% of the Area Median Income. Rebecca also manages our Community Lawyering Project and has been instrumental in expanding the project. In building the Community Lawyering Project she championed the need for a community organizer, a model that is now being replicated in all of Bread for the City’s programs.
As we attempt to list her professional accomplishments, we will never be able to say enough about Rebecca as a person. She is tough, loving, fun, hard-working, compassionate, and kind. A tremendous friend and colleague, she cares deeply not only for her clients, but about all the people around her, showing support and strength to those who need it. Rebecca has also supervised, mentored, and inspired many young housing attorneys and community advocates who, even after leaving Bread for the City, continue to do important work to increase justice and fairness in our communities.
Rebecca Lindhurst is deeply committed to helping improve the welfare of individuals who live in the District, and this dedication drives her commitment to excellence. She is an extraordinary person and lawyer whom we are proud to be acquainted with and feel lucky to have in our lives and community.
Congrats, Rebecca on this award. We are proud of you, and we love you.