Steve Banks Discusses Effects of the Economy on Low-Income People on Inside City Hall
MONDAY, JUNE 28, 2010

Steven Banks, Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society, appeared on Inside City Hall on NY1 Friday to discuss how the economy has affected low-income individuals and families and non profit organizations during these tough economic times. Banks explained that the need for the legal services that the Society provides to struggling families and individuals is increasing exponentially.

On the civil side, the numbers of vulnerable New Yorkers who are seeking our civil legal assistance have increased dramatically during this extraordinary economic downturn and we are forced to turn away eight out of every nine New Yorkers who seek our help to get unemployment and disability benefits, flee from domestic violence, and prevent evictions, foreclosures, and homelessness – which is at record levels in New York City. There has been a 40 percent increase in the number of persons seeking help with health care problems, a 29 percent in unemployment, 21 percent in evictions and 800 percent in foreclosures. On the criminal side, while crime is down, arrests are up and the number of cases is skyrocketing.

Banks noted the importance of the dedicated staff of lawyers in The Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, UAW; the paralegals and social workers and support staff in 1199; and the managers and administrative personal, all of whom have made great sacrifices.