Supporting Community-Driven Solutions - LawNY’s Community Development and Economic Justice Project

Supporting Community-Driven Solutions

LawNY’s Community Development and Economic Justice Project


Legal Assistance of Western New York (“LawNY”) launched its Community Development & Economic Justice Project (“CDP”) in 2016. This initiative provides legal and strategic support to community-based organizations and coalitions advocating for equitable change in their communities. We pursue our advocacy through litigation, advocacy, transactional legal assistance, and community education. Our projects focus on housing opportunity, quality, and affordability; transportation equity; economic opportunity; and community economic development. The project covers Monroe, Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, Yates, Livingston, Tompkins, Tioga, Allegany, Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua counties.

Our legal services include:

Litigation and Advocacy: CDP provides assistance to coalitions and community groups for whom strategic and legal assistance would further their goals. One type of advocacy that CDP provides is assistance supporting communities most affected by poverty and racial disparities advocating for agency in the face of development. Click here for a resource on one tool for implementing community-driven solutions to combat displacement, a Community Benefits Agreement.

Transactional Legal Assistance: CDP provides assistance to low income worker cooperatives, as well as non-profit organizations and community groups on transactional issues. This covers a variety of topics including contract review, real estate issues, and non-profit formation and governance. Click here for an article on one hot topic for non-profits: the impact of the new tax law.

Outreach and education: CDP educates individuals, community groups, non-profits, entrepreneurs, and the public about their rights and obligations regarding non-profit and small business law through outreach events and trainings. CDP will be launching a learning platform later this year for nonprofits and community groups with educational resources. CDP also partners with community organizations and community groups to educate the public on issues of concern to the community, including housing access and inequitable development.

If you are part of a group or an organization and would like to contact the CDP about representation, please call us toll-free at 1-833-244-8066.

About LawNY: CDP is a project of LawNY. LawNY® is a not-for-profit corporation established to provide access to justice to low-income people and other vulnerable populations who have civil legal problems. LawNY® was formed in 2004 through the merger of several local, established, not-for-profit law firms. LawNY® has 7 offices, which are located in Bath, Elmira, Geneva, Ithaca, Jamestown, Olean, and Rochester. LawNY®provides legal assistance to individuals in 14 counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne and Yates.

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