Reaction to City Announcing Right to Counsel in Housing Court

In the three days before the final State of the City address before he faces re-election, Mayor de Blasio unveiled two major shifts to address critics of his housing policies. On Friday, he revealed a major shift toward lower-income families in the allocation of units to be created under his housing plan. And on Sunday he and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced they had agree to create a universal right to legal services for tenants facing eviction. The starkly unequal playing field in housing court, where most landlords have lawyers and most tenants do not, has long infuriated advocates and was a focus of City Limits’ 2015 series on that court. The de Blasio administration has for years offered some funding for housing-court legal services but had resisted creating a universal right.