Low-income Tenants Facing Eviction Could be Guaranteed Legal Aid under new bill

CurbedNY.jpgBy Ameena Walker

A newly proposed bill could provide assistance to low-income tenants facing eviction or foreclosure. The NYC City Council held a hearing on Monday to discuss Intro 214-A, which would require the city’s Office of Civil Justice to provide legal counsel for low-income tenants.

Roughly 80 percent of tenants facing eviction are left to fend for themselves in housing court due to a lack of resources and/or lack of understanding of available resources. But according to City Council member Mark Levine, one of the bill's biggest backers (along with Council Member Vanessa Gibson), 100 percent of landlords have legal representation, giving them a huge advantage over tenants from the start. And, per Levine's office, "eviction is the single most common reason that families in New York City end up in shelters, and over the past decade, the share of families citing eviction as the cause for their homelessness has increased dramatically."

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