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LAS Calls Out Shifting Eviction Policies That Penalize Tenants

The Legal Aid Society continues to litigate against New York City’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (ODTA) and criticize as inadequate its recent decision to temporarily waive the rule that certain New York City tenants must be sued for eviction before they can apply for rent relief until May 1st, as reported by Law360.

Representatives for the tenants are seeking a raise in the $9,000 cap on the program’s rental assistance payouts due to rent in arrears that have accumulated in the past year – leaving some ineligible to apply. They also warn that the short time frame may not allow enough time for tenants to reasonably become aware of the waiver and apply for benefits accordingly.

Lilia I. Toson of The Legal Aid Society, counsel for the plaintiffs, said that her clients are ineligible for the rental assistance now that their arrears, part of a debt that is overdue, exceed $9,000.

“That is a situation entirely of [OTDA’s] own making — and one that the temporary waiver does not solve,” Toson said.

The proposed class of renters is represented by Lilia I. Toson, Susan C. Bahn, Amber Marshall, Kat Meyers, Brooke Drew and Sharone Midovsky of the Legal Aid Society, and Fara Tabatabai and Brittany R. Cohen of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.