In NY Daily News: NYC borough presidents demand ‘Right to Counsel’ safeguards for tenants in Housing Court

Two of the city’s borough presidents are teaming up to help hundreds of low-income New Yorkers who have been dragged into eviction court proceedings without legal representation.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson say tenants being forced to represent themselves in Housing Court — due to the pandemic backlog of eviction cases that are overwhelming public defenders ― undermines the city’s “Right to Counsel” law.

Public defender groups tasked with providing free legal work have in recent months said they don’t have enough attorneys to go around. As a result, roughly 2,500 Right to Counsel-eligible defendants have faced eviction proceedings without lawyers since March, according to data shared with the Daily News by the state-run Office of Court Administration.

Levine and Gibson have a six-point plan for how they believe state and municipal agencies can help bring the city back into compliance with the law.

Read the full article HERE.