Legal Representation Keeps New Yorkers in Their Homes
Maria Medina shouts out the need for eviction prevention services and the excellent work of The Legal Aid Society and her attorney Kat Meyers in helping her keep her home.

Mayor Bill de Blasio today released the findings of the Office of Civil Justice’s first annual report, which show that 27 percent of tenants in Housing Court for eviction proceedings have legal representation – up from 1 percent in 2013. As a result of annual investments totaling over $100 million in civil legal services of all types under Mayor de Blasio, evictions have fallen 24 percent in the last two years according to the report.

“The Legal Aid Society has long argued that providing access to legal representation to low-income tenants facing eviction, the most vulnerable and least likely to seek or afford representation legal representation, would result not only in a decrease of evictions and homelessness, but in an overall financial savings to the City. We are pleased that the City’s data shows that providing access to legal services is resulting in marked decreased evictions as well as a more just court process, ” said Magda Rosa-Rios, Director of the Tenant Rights Campaign at The Legal Aid Society. Three years ago just 1 in 100 tenants in housing court had representation. Today, more than 1 in 4 have representation.

“As we face one of the most serious affordable housing crises in our city’s history, we have made an unprecedented commitment to provide legal assistance for low-income New Yorkers, and we are beginning to see the results of these efforts,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The Office of Civil Justice’s first annual report documents the progress we have made in providing New Yorkers in need with access to quality legal representation, particularly to prevent evictions and harassment by unscrupulous landlords.”