MEMPHIS, Tenn. — April is National Fair Housing Month, and News Channel 3 talked with some legal experts about how people can take advantage of free housing advice.

Memphis Area Legal Services CEO Cindy Ettingoff says they get a lot of complaints from renters about things like mold and rodent problems and overall concerns about safety.

“There are just people who bless them, who have been so desperate for a place to live that they have a house that is a dwelling, but you can’t open the front door. You’ve got to go around to the back door to get in it. And you have to block the back door at night because there’s no way to secure it,” said Ettingoff.

She explained more about the services they offer to renters who need help.

Ettingoff said, “We are a HUD-certified counseling center. But that also means that we help people who come to us. It’s free, so it’s free civil legal advice. It’s about problems with your landlords, problems with your rent, if you’re facing homelessness, if you’ve been discriminated against because you’re talking about fair housing.” 

But Ettingoff says not every situation requires a lawsuit, and they can help with that too.

“Whatever your problem is, we can at least tell you whether it’s a problem that can be resolved legally because we also know the housing market in this area. Sometimes the best advice is to sit tight and let’s find you another place to go before we take an action that would make you homeless,” explained Ettingoff.

If you need free legal advice about housing issues, MALS has several clinics each month. A short list is below, and you can find a full list at the bottom.

Free Housing Clinic
Third Tuesday
Ben Hooks Library
4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Free Housing Clinic
Third Friday
Whitehaven Library

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Free Legal Consultation
Second Saturday
Ben Hooks Library
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Attorney of the Day
Every Other Thursday
140 Adams
1:00 to 3:00 p.m.