Stay informed about North Penn Legal Service activity and advocacy work.

NPLS has posted the recently revised Self-Help Handbook for Tenants in the Resource Library on our website.  The handbook is available in both English and Spanish.  Links to both handbooks are included below.  The handbook is posted as one document and also separated by chapter.  If you live in the Lehigh Valley and would like a printed copy of either handbook, please call NPLS at 610-317-8757.  A copy will be mailed to you.  

English Self-Help Handbook for Tenants:

A big budget Hollywood movie, The Big Short, is coming to theaters near you this month. Based upon the novel by Michael Lewis, it is a story of how some financial guys on Wall Street saw the manipulations in the Housing market in 2005 and figured out a way to make money from what they predicted would be a financial collapse. Sure enough, in 2007, the housing bubble burst, financial institutions collapsed, and the reverberations were felt in the economy.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that residential leases are considered consumer transactions. That doesn’t seem like a big deal to us today, but back then it was a big shift in real estate law. Real estate law developed from English common law to define the relationship between landlords and tenants. Before the industrial revolution, most of those tenants were tenant farmers, and the relationship included money and crops to the landlord in return for the right to farm the land for a period of years.

NPLS Fair Housing 3-minute video

Federal, state and local laws promote fair housing and prohibit housing discrimination.

  • From left, Ryan Conrad, CEO of the Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors; Jane Vincent, HUD Regional Administrator for Region III; and Victoria Coyle, executive director of North Penn Legal Services, helped organize the Fair Housing Summit in Allentown.
Realtors, community leaders, housing professionals and the public had the opportunity to learn about fair housing laws at the upcoming Lehigh Valley Fair Housing Summit.  The event, which took place on April 24 at the Holiday Inn Allentown, 904 W. Hamilton St., featured experts who discussed their experiences with fair housing laws. The summit was sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors and North Penn Legal Services of Bethlehem.

On May 1, NPLS conducted a fair housing training for PA State Legislators and their staff at our Bethlehem Office.  NPLS Executive Director Victoria Coyle gave a brief overview about our history and services.  Her remarks were followed by NPLS Managing Attorney Leah Finlayson who spoke about the direct service work and outreach activities that our staff offer clients and the community.  A 3-minute fair housing video (filmed by PBS39) was shown to give a client perspective to the fair housing work that we do.