History

The Lawyers Clearinghouse on Affordable Housing and Homelessness was founded in 1988 by the Boston Bar Association and Massachusetts Bar Association. It grew out of a common belief that through an organized broad based program, the pro bono resources of the private bar could be used to fight homelessness.

The creation of the Clearinghouse also reflected the enormous economic pressures placed on low and moderate income families in Massachusetts, and on the limited capabilities of the nonprofit groups assisting them with their housing needs.

The Clearinghouse has served as the model used by bar sponsored pro bono groups throughout the country in establishing similar programs, including the District of Columbia, Rhode Island, and Maryland. In 1991, the Clearinghouse received the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Partnership Award.

The Clearinghouse history is told in more detail here.