Community Legal Aid Beats Vision Property

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The week of Christmas, Community Legal Aid helped nine Youngstown residents reach settlements – ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 – in a lawsuit against Vision Property Management that left some of them homeless.

Vision Property, based in South Carolina, had entered into rent-to-own contracts with the residents, but had left many homes in disrepair, leaving the residents to make their own improvements. Some had replaced roofs, installed plumbing and added new heating systems.

But it wasn’t always enough, says Community Legal Aid’s executive director, Steven McGarrity.

“One client came home to begin renovations only to find that his house was being torn down by the city,” he says. “For our clients, getting their money back was life-changing. They simply did not expect to see this money again. We were thrilled to play a part in that and have been working very hard on this case for the last year so that justice was done.”

The same week the settlement was reached, Vision sold its assets and debts to another company.

Last year, Community Legal Aid also joined with the Mahoning County Bar Association, courts and social service agencies to remove the barrier of criminal records for those seeking employment and driver’s licenses.

Hundreds of Mahoning County residents turned out at workshops and clinics hosted by Community Legal Aid in 2019 to get assistance with sealing records, waiving fines and fees and restoring driving privileges.

The nonprofit law firm is starting the new decade in a new office downtown. The renovated space in the Ohio One Building is home to a dozen advocates who specialize in the areas of housing, domestic violence, education, and finance and debt law.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.