By Erin Durkin
Tenants facing eviction will get lawyers paid for by the city under a bill passed by the City Council Thursday.
The legislation for the first time establishes a “right to counsel” in housing court — where unlike in criminal court, people have not been entitled to lawyers.
Almost all landlords have an attorney.
“No legal proceeding is fair if only one side has a lawyer,” said Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan). “The worst landlords have used housing court as a weapon, hauling tenants into court on flimsy eviction cases because they knew that in the vast majority of cases the tenant would not have a lawyer.”