Mathis v. D.C. Housing Authority (D.C.H.A.) was a pathbreaking case from this past year. It had important procedural significance: for years, Legal Aid had argued that D.C.H.A. termination decisions should be directly appealable to the D.C. Court of Appeals. The Mathis case settled this issue once and for all, ensuring that all members of our client community will have access to the appellate courts for these types of cases. But Mathis v. D.C.H.A. was arguably even more important for D.C. resident Stevon Mathis.
As Mr. Mathis memorably put it, he became “extremely homeless” after he lost his housing voucher. The Court of Appeals ruling that he had wrongfully been terminated from the voucher program ended years of homelessness for Mr. Mathis. The ruling not only dramatically reformed the procedures for judicial review of D.C.H.A. decisions, but in a very concrete way, put a roof over Mr. Mathis’s head.