The Right to Counsel in housing court
On July 20, 2017 City Counsel passed Intro 214-B, introduced by Council Member Mark Levine and Council Member Vanessa Gibson, giving low-income tenants the right to a lawyer in eviction proceedings. On August 11, 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed this historic bill into law.
After years of advocacy within the Right to Counsel Coalition, we are thrilled to see this day come to fruition for low-income New Yorkers of all ages, who no longer must fear being victim to unjust eviction.
Thank you to the dedicated advocacy of New York's seniors, grassroots organizations, and Council Members for getting us to this day.
For more information:
The Road to Making History...
The Right to Counsel, or Intro 214a, is a City Council bill that LiveOn NY has been integral in advocating for. LiveOn NY has been an active member of the Right to Counsel Coalition over the past four years, working with numerous grassroots organizations across the city. The bill would make it a right for all tenants up to 200% of the poverty level to receive legal representation in housing court, ensuring a more fair and equal legal representation.
Since the bill's inception, legislators have heard over 7 hours of powerful testimony from 78 individuals in support of the right; Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito have each received almost 7,000 letters urging the bills passage; and 42 Council Members have signed on. It could not be any clearer that the time to pass the right is now.
LiveOn NY Testifies in Support of the Right to Counsel
Why should you support the Right to Counsel?
90% of landlords have a lawyer in housing court; 70% of tenants don't
Eviction is the leading cause of homelessness
Close to 300,000 New Yorkers are brought to housing court each year to fight an eviction
Nearly 22,000 New Yorkers were evicted in 2015; 50% would not have been if they had a lawyer
Passing the Right to Counsel has been projected to be a cost savings to the city
Approximately 2,000 seniors sleep in shelters each night