New City Council Bill Aims To Educate Low-Income Tenants About Right To Counsel Law

In 2017, New York became the first city in the nation to adopt the right-to-counsel law. But advocates say that most low-income tenants still do not know that they are entitled to a lawyer during eviction cases.

News Story (New York)

Gothamist (NYC)
April 19, 2019

Tags: Civil Right to Counsel, Housing: Eviction

Organizations mentioned/involved: Catholic Migration Services


“It’s about making them aware and having them exercise this right,” said Lauren Springer, a tenant organizer in Queens who works with Catholic Migration Services, a nonprofit legal services provider.

The right-to-counsel law is currently being rolled out by zipcode. To date, 345,000 households in the city are covered. Citywide implementation is expected by 2022.

Prior to introducing the bill on Thursday, Council members Mark Levine and Vanessa Gibson held a press conference where they were flanked by tenant organizing groups from across the city.

“We are in an arms race with unscrupulous landlords,” Levine said. “We need to up our game to fight back against these evolving tactics.”