|PILOR consists of three legal units:
- General Law Unit
- Community Reinvestment Unit
The General Law
Unit provides litigation in public
fair housing, subsidized housing, fair credit, disability rights,
employment and health care law, as well as legislative and
administrative advocacy including the pension act in those areas.
Reinvestment Unit provides
representation with regard to enforcing banksí obligations to make
capital fairly available for housing and economic development
activities in the low-income community. This Unit also gathers and
analyzes data regarding the predatory lending activities in the
Rochester area and assists clients in saving their homes from
The Disability Law
representation and advocacy to individuals in Monroe County whose
SSI or Social Security Disability benefits have been denied or
discontinued. The Unit also administers PILORís Disability
Advocacy Project and is the prime contractor for this state grant in
Western New York.
low-income clients that have been discriminated against in housing,
public benefits, employment, lending and other areas because of
race, gender, disability, family status or national origin.
represent people with disabilities who have been unable to use
places of public accommodation (stores, restaurants, doctors'
offices) because of ADA violations.
assist HIV-infected parents and the family members of HIV-infected
persons develop custody and permanency plans for their children.
Education Advocacy Project
at PILOR are experts in special education law and have a long and
proven track record in successfully representing students with
disabilities. Their target population for the Special Education
Advocacy Project (SEAP) is low-income children in Monroe County who
are struggling in school due to their disabilities. PILOR advocates
focus on children in grades K-12, primarily those enrolled in the
Rochester City School District. Advocates
represent students with disabilities and their families throughout
the special education process at the school level, the
administrative level, and in federal court. Such cases fall into two
1) eligibility for services, in which students
seek to demonstrate that they qualify for educational supports in
the first instance;
2) access to appropriate services and
supports for students who have been found eligible, but are still
lacking such services.
v. Board of Education
twenty years, PILOR has served as class counsel in this ongoing case
which has brought about significant reforms to the special education
system in the Rochester City School District.
Such reforms include:
increasing the speed with which students with disabilities receive
access to special education; expanding opportunities for students
with disabilities to be included in classrooms with their
nondisabled peers; ensuring equal access by students with
disabilities to the districtís magnet programs and
extra-curricular programs; and requiring the District to take
greater steps to ensure that students with disabilities achieve
staff has been working on equitable access to credit since 1994.
PILOR, working in conjunction with a community wide coalition, the
Greater Rochester Community Reinvestment Coalition (GRCRC), has been
very successful in using a combination of data analysis and advocacy
with area banks to ensure that they serve the needs of the
low-income and minority communities.
the Foreclosure Prevention Project, PILOR advocates provide legal
services to income eligible area homeowners who have legal claims
arising from the predatory practices of unscrupulous lenders.
Advocates represent homeowners before they are in financial crisis,
or when they are already in default or in foreclosure. In addition
to the direct client representation, other components of the project
- Partnership with
Volunteer Legal Services Project (VLSP) and pro bono lawyers
- Referrals to
credit and default counseling agencies
- Referrals to
local financial institutions to restructure the loan
and outreach through community based-organizations and direct
from The Housing Council and other community agencies as a
result of increased awareness through the City's Donít
Borrow Trouble campaign
and Car Dealerships
advocates provide legal representation to clients who are residents
of the Greater Rochester area and who have legal claims arising from
the predatory practices of the rent-to-own and used car industries.
support form the City of Rochester, PILOR created and currently
manages a community housing
website. This site educates the community about housing issues
and includes information on such topics as predatory lending,
financial literacy, mortgages, and referrals.
in PILOR's disability unit provide representation and advocacy to
individuals in Monroe County whose SSI or Social Security Disability
benefits have been denied or discontinued.