CB3 Backs Bill Providing Right to Counsel for Low-Income Tenants Facing Eviction

Posted on: November 20th, 2015 at 5:17 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

81 Bowery in 2013, Photo: Annie Ling

There is an eight-month-old bill making its way through City Council that could help stem the rising tide of homelessness. At last count, more than 58,000 people are in the shelter system, according to a recent New York Times article, plus many more on the streets. By attacking one root cause – evictions – two Councilmembers hope to alleviate the issue.

Indeed, last March, Councilmembers Mark Levine and Vanessa Gibson introduced “Intro 214,” legislation aimed at providing assistance to predominantly low-income New Yorkers facing “evictions, ejectment, or foreclosure proceedings.” Close to 30,000 households are reportedly evicted by City Marshals each year, and still others face threats of eviction from asshole landlords.

The stakes are higher for those low-income tenants who might not have access (i.e. the funds) to proper housing attorneys. Intro 214 seeks to end this by guaranteeing counsel to households residing below 200% of federal poverty guidelines in both eviction and foreclosure cases. The bill is not yet signed, but public advocates are seeking broad support from the community.

This image has been archived or removed.

Formed in 2014, the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition is at the forefront of the fight. It’s a grassroots melting pot composed of tenant organizing groups, tenant advocates, and legal services groups whose bread-and-butter is the subject of said legislation. Their mission statement charges that “we are working together to ensure that our city’s housing courts are a place of fairness, justice, and equity.”

Representatives from RTC sought further support of Intro 214 from Community Board 3 this week. They got what they came for – unanimous backing from the Land-use subcommittee, to the soundtrack of public applause. (The resolution below was apparently drafted by the Borough President.)

Intro 214 CB Draft Resolution

Recent Stories

City Honors Sun Yat-Sen with Plaza and Permanent Statue in Columbus Park

Mayor de Blasio, Councilwoman Margaret Chin, and other politicians this week dedicated a slice Chinatown’s Columbus Park to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. This past Tuesday, what would have been the 153rd birthday of the founding father of China, also marked the return of the bronze statue after the city excavated a new permanent home. The area […]

Enter the ‘Lion’s Den’ with Lee Quinones on Delancey

An iconic handball mural from one of the local greats is again on display. Strolling down Delancey Street this past week, you may have noticed the fifteen-foot replica of Lee Quinones‘ “Lion’s Den” mural. It’s fastened to the facade of the James Fuentes Gallery as part of his one-man show there. The “Lion’s Den” dates […]

Essex Crossing Adjacent Properties on Ludlow Street Fetch $12M

Change may soon come to the Chinese food wholesaler at 89-91 Ludlow Street. The dual property just changed hands this month for $12.3 million. Buyer of record is an LLC linked to Brooklyn’s Xiaoling Huang. The two parcels in question, comprising a three-story commercial building and the adjacent lot where wholesaler C&L Restaurant Supply currently […]

LES School Again Raising Money to Buy Thanksgiving Turkeys for its Students in Need

For the second year in a row, the folks at P.S. 140 Nathan Straus School are giving back to the community this Thanksgiving. This time, the PTA is doubling down, aiming to donate 200 turkeys to students and their families in need for the upcoming holiday. So far, $540 of the $4,000 goal has been […]

‘Country Of’ Boutique Delivers Vintage Ephemera to Essex Street

Retail veterans of the Hester Fair continue to pollinate vacant storefronts on the other side of the street. Two in just the last few weeks, in fact. Partybus Bakeshop soft-opened on Tuesday. Down the block, Country Of also joins the fray. Country Of is a small pop-vintage boutique which took over the short-lived Cafe Grumpy […]