Evictions down in areas where tenants get free lawyers: analysis

By Ryan Deffenbaugh

A city program that provides free lawyers to low-income tenants in housing court has helped cut down on evictions, according to a new analysis by advocates for the program.

Home evictions declined five times faster in city ZIP codes where tenants are eligible for free legal counsel than in similar ZIP codes where the program is not available, showed numbers released Monday by the Community Service Society of New York. Tenant advocacy groups said Tuesday that the numbers show the effectiveness of the city's Right to Counsel law, which gives tenants with an income below 200% of the federal poverty level an attorney when facing eviction.

The city's fiscal year 2018 budget provided $15 million to implement the program in 20 of the city's more than 200 ZIP codes, with plans to expand the program to the entire city by 2022.

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