The team, which will have two attorneys and three paralegals, plans to provide legal support for public housing matters, including for tenants who have already converted—or are in the process of converting—to new funding models.
With under two months left on the clock, the administration is not taking steps to fully implement a package of bills that would expand rental voucher eligibility among New Yorkers facing eviction.
An experienced, full-time tenant lawyer can effectively take on 48 eviction cases per year, according to a highly-anticipated report released Aug. 31 by a state court working group.
New York City is setting unreasonable expectations for nonprofit attorneys tasked with staving off evictions across the city, according to a protest letter submitted Thursday by the Legal Aid Society.
Lawyers who represent tenants facing eviction in housing court are poised to see millions of dollars in new funding in the coming year, yet far less than the roughly $350 million boost they’ve said is needed for the Right to Counsel program to live up to its name.
Brooklyn tenants are trying to dismantle barriers around a seldom-used 1960s-era law that can prohibit landlords from collecting rent when they fail to fix dangerous building conditions for months on end. The campaign just had its first breakthrough.
While the total won’t be clear until remaining applications for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) are processed, a majority of the $391 in aid will likely go to the housing authority and other public housing tenants, with $35 million specifically earmarked for NYCHA. Still, thousands of New Yorkers living in public or subsidized housing did not apply for ERAP but continue to struggle with mounting debt.
Anita Coote, Corey O’Connor, Trish Taylor, Sean Murray and BM |
“For decades, the government agencies that oversee and fund the supportive housing systems have disregarded the voices and needs of applicants and tenants, and instead prioritized the needs of providers, landlords, and developers.”
Seventeen previously rent-stabilized apartments in Cristina Ramirez’s Harlem building haven’t been registered with the state since 2018. Her legal team says her case is illustrative of the need for greater enforcement of New York’s rent laws.
“It’s a complicated question,” said Rosalind Black, citywide housing director at Legal Services NY, which aids tenants under the landmark city initiative to provide free representation to low-income New Yorkers facing eviction in housing court. Though the results have been overwhelmingly positive, the program has never been funded to cover every eligible tenant.