Evictions Down From Harlem To Hollis In Areas Where Tenants Get Free Lawyers

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.

News Story (New York)

Harlem World Magazine
March 26, 2019

Tags: Civil Right to Counsel, Housing: Eviction

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services NYC (LSNYC)


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.


Residential evictions decreased by 11% from 2017 to 2018 in ZIP codes that offer free legal counsel, the analysis found. In areas that did not offer the program but had comparable historical eviction, poverty and rental rates, evictions edged down by 2% during the same period. In February the city reported that total residential evictions fell 14% in 2018 from the previous year.