Comptroller Chides Housing Court for Lack of Translators

The Comptroller's office recently criticized the city's housing courts over having inadequate services for those who don't speak English. "In a city with nearly two million individuals with limited English proficiency, it is outrageous that, in our courthouses, tenants wait hours for interpreters, help desks aren't always able to provide necessary services, and signage and literature are inadequate," City Comptroller Scott Stringer said in a statement.

To improve housing courts for non-English speakers, Stringer recommended putting up "We Speak Your Language" cards at courthouse entrances and called for a comprehensive review of interpretation services, which could include allocating more resources to increase the availability of interpreters—especially those who speak foreign languages other than Spanish—and using demographic data to tailor signs to each borough's specific needs.