National Housing Law Project

The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) is a nonprofit national housing and legal advocacy center established in 1968. Our mission is to advance housing justice for poor people by:

• Increasing and preserving the supply of decent, affordable housing
• Improving existing housing conditions, including physical conditions and management practices
• Expanding and enforcing low-income tenants' and homeowners' rights, and
• Increasing housing opportunities for racial and ethnic minorities.


Through policy advocacy and litigation, NHLP has been responsible for many critically important changes to federal housing policy and programs that have resulted in increased housing opportunities and improved housing conditions for poor people. Working with a nationwide network of low-income housing advocates, NHLP has helped produce and preserve millions of units of affordable housing and has established and enforced many fundamental rights now claimed by poor tenants and homeowners.

In presenting NHLP with the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions in 2007, Jonathan F. Fanton, President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, honored our organization as a “[w]ise counsel, policy advocate, rescuer of homes,” and credited NHLP with “advancing the housing rights of low-income Americans with energy and passion.” For more information about the award go to awards.

NHLP was originally established as a back-up center for legal services organizations, and received federal funds to provide legal and technical assistance for legal services attorneys working on the spectrum of housing issues for low-income families. While federal funding for back-up centers was eliminated in 1994, NHLP continues to deliver legal support, technical assistance, trainings, and online and print resources to advocates. In addition, NHLP has expanded its partnerships to include a host of individuals and organizations working in the affordable housing arena including local and national advocates, tenant and advocacy networks, nonprofit developers and allied housing organizations. NHLP also provides technical assistance to public housing authorities and other agencies and officials within local and state governments, and its advice is sought by federal policymakers who strive to advance and improve the housing policies affecting our nation’s most vulnerable residents and communities.

Our Services and Initiatives