Legal Aid's Chief Attorney Reacts to City's Plan to Charge Rent to Working Homeless Families
FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2010

The City has announced plans to require homeless families who are employed to pay rent. Reacting to this plan, Steven Banks, Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society, told The New York Times that "in the midst of an extraordinary economic downturn, to be going after families who are earning minimum wages to pay the cost of shelter instead of encouraging them to save their meager wages so they can move out, in the end, is going to cost more."

He was quoted in the New York Daily News saying "it makes far more sense to allow those families to save their meager funds in order to be able to get out of the shelter system sooner. This is an extreme policy that has no discernible benefit, that will end up hurting the families and costing the taxpayers money," Banks said. "If necessary, we'll certainly go to court." Banks said that legal action might be necessary to stop the plan.

Both Steven Banks and a working homeless client testified before the New York City Council.