Cohen Backs Bills to Expand Right to Counsel, Which Could Benefit Thousands

Bronx residents in fear of landlords’ common use of initiating eviction proceedings are waiting for two bills before the City Council to pass soon.

News Story (New York)

Jose A. Giralt
Norwood News
January 29, 2020
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Tags: Housing: Eviction, Housing: Right to Counsel


DETAILS

The two bills—Intros 1529 and 1104—look to expand Right to Counsel not only geographically but also economically. The bills, signed into law in 2017, are collectively known as Right to Counsel (RTC). New York City was the first in the country to implement them.

On Jan. 15, local residents joined housing activists from Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA), Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC), and the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition (RTCNYC) at a rally and town hall meeting at the New Settlement Community Center on Jerome Avenue in Mt. Eden. Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, whose council district she represents was the first to benefit from Right to Counsel, also supports expanding the measure. In 2018, much of Gibson’s district experienced the largest rezoning for the Bronx, which sparked fears of displacement.

“Do you know why I’m the first one here?” Cohen asked at the town hall.  “Because I support both bills already … The reason I was so quick to sign on with Right to Counsel is because it works. Evictions are down all across the city.”