Housing and Tenant Rights

We work to preserve and expand access to safe, affordable housing and advance the rights of low-income tenants.


De Novo works to prevent homelessness and involuntary dislocation by helping people with low incomes who are living in Cambridge to secure safe and affordable housing.

Our Housing Unit provides advice, advocacy and aggressive litigation services in court and in administrative proceedings to help vulnerable residents avoid eviction, obtain or retain safe and affordable housing, challenge discrimination and enforce their legal rights as tenants.

We deliver training and education on tenants’ rights to affected communities and to housing advocates throughout the region.

De Novo offers housing assistance to residents of Cambridge, where affordable housing resources are limited and many are at risk of homelessness or displacement.

Our experienced team of attorneys provide free legal assistance in cases involving:

  • Eviction defense

  • Access to public or subsidized housing, including emergency applications

  • Denial or termination of housing subsidies (including Section 8 or other government-subsidized housing)

  • Substandard housing conditions

  • Fair housing and discrimination

  • Illegal lock outs

  • Conversion of rental units into condominiums

Get Legal Help

If you are seeking help with a housing-related issue, you should consult with an attorney as early as possible.

To request legal assistance, contact our Intake and Referral Line at (617) 661-1010 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.


Lawyer for the Day Housing Clinic

Free legal help for low-income, unrepresented tenants at the Eastern Housing Court every Friday.