Legal Aid Society


LAS: Limiting Cases Will Help Preserve NYC's Landmark Tenant Protection Program

The Legal Aid Society is praising the release of a report recommending a case standard for attorneys working in Housing Court as part of New York City’s Right to Counsel program for tenants who are facing eviction, as reported by City Limits.

The New York State Office of Court Administration’s (OCA) Universal Access to Justice Caseload Working Group recommends an experienced full-time attorney can be assigned 48 full legal representations in a one-year period. 

In August, prior to this report, the City issued three immensely problematic proposals (called RFxs) that severely underfunded Right to Counsel and two other housing initiatives serving low-income tenants.

In response, The Legal Aid Society submitted a formal protest and called on the City to postpone the response time allotted to legal services providers and amend these proposals, which would reverse years of progress the City has made in protecting tens of thousands of New York City tenants.

“We welcome OCA’s recommendations as a first step towards ensuring that Right to Counsel remains a lifeline for the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who face eviction each year,” said Adriene Holder, Chief Attorney of the Civil Practice at The Legal Aid Society. “New York City is in the midst of an unprecedented affordable housing crisis, and these RFxs, as written, would jeopardize Right to Counsel and further evictions and homelessness throughout the five boroughs.”