Council Members Push for Housing Counsel in Eviction Cases
Council members Mark Levine and Vanessa Gibson are co-sponsors of a City Council bill that would establish the right to legal counsel in eviction cases. The bill, Intro 214, would create a position of civil justice coordinator under the commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development. If passed, it would make New York City the first city in the U.S. to recognize a right to counsel in eviction proceedings.
The coordinator would organize both public and private pro bono counsel to represent low-income tenants in eviction proceedings. According to the text of the bill, the civil justice coordinator would annually review the performance of designated organizations and could decline to renew the designation of any such organization.
As for the method of assigning counsel, the bill states that the civil justice coordinator would cause a designated organization to be expeditiously assigned to represent an eligible individual upon receipt of a request for such services from the eligible individual; a judge to whom a covered proceeding has been assigned or an administrative judge; or a designated organization.