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LAS Calls to Expand Right to Counsel, Increase Tenant Protections

On Monday morning, The Legal Aid Society joined elected officials and members of the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition to call for increased protections for vulnerable tenants. In addition to a rally on the steps of City Hall, Adriene Holder, Attorney-in-Charge of our Civil Practice, testified before the NYC City Council Committees on Housing and Buildings and the Justice System.

The rally and hearing were in support of the expansion of the groundbreaking Right to Counsel law of 2017. The Legal Aid Society and our coalition partners long pushed for the Right to Counsel law, which ensures representation for low-income New Yorkers facing eviction in housing court. In the two years since its inception, the law has helped level the playing field for vulnerable tenants. In the last year alone, 100,000 New Yorkers were assisted through the new rules.

As a member of the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition, we see the law as an inspiring start for our clients. But there are still many who need support. As part of her testimony, Adriene Holder expressed concern for the many households who are still struggling but do not qualify for representation under the existing Right to Counsel law. We hope to expand the current law to ensure that everyone receives the help they need.

You can read Adriene Holder’s full testimony here.