More petitions were filed in Bronx Housing Court than in any other borough in 2013 — more than 33 percent of the 248,732 filed citywide, though Bronx residents make up less than 20 percent of the city’s population.
Reforms of housing court have done little to change the way business is done there: Via deals negotiated by landlord lawyers in the hallway with tenants who rarely get the help of an attorney or see a judge.
The Bronx is the most affordable borough in the city, but its low-income families also have the hardest time affording the rents they’re charged—which are rising. Bronx Housing Court sees perverse incentives, deadbeat public agencies and more.
Tenants who fail to save their homes in Bronx Housing Court often end up in shelters, to which the borough contributes more people than any other. As borough aims to build housing for young professionals, will more reforms to housing court stem the tide?