Mayor Announces Decrease in Citywide Evictions
The de Blasio administration recently announced that residential evictions by marshals declined 37 percent since 2013, with approximately 18,000 evictions in 2018 compared to nearly 29,000 evictions in 2013. In 2018 alone, evictions decreased 14 percent, with 3,000 households and more than 8,000 New Yorkers across the five boroughs able to remain in their homes as a result.
According to the press release, over the course of the de Blasio administration, residential evictions have steadily declined year-over-year in every borough. In Manhattan, evictions are down 47 percent since 2013.
The administration attributes part of the decline to its commitment to providing legal services for tenants facing eviction and displacement. As of June 2018, the city has provided nearly a quarter-million New Yorkers with legal representation, advice, or assistance in eviction and other housing-related matters through tenant legal services programs at the Human Resources Administration’s Office of Civil Justice, including New York City’s Universal Access to Legal Counsel program, the nation’s first and largest initiative to ensure that every tenant facing eviction in Housing Court can access free legal services. In addition, since 2014, the city has provided funding for legal assistance for tenants facing eviction and harassment, increasing overall investment 17-fold from $6 million in Fiscal Year 2013 to over $104 million in Fiscal Year 2019.
Through the Universal Access initiative, 400,000 New Yorkers facing eviction are expected to receive legal assistance annually when the program is fully implemented in 2022, with annual funding for legal services for tenants increasing to $155 million. In Fiscal Year 2018 alone, 33,000 households representing 87,400 New Yorkers received legal representation and advice, including over 25,000 households representing 69,000 New Yorkers facing eviction in Housing Court. In 2013, only 6,500 households representing 23,000 individuals had city-funded legal services.
The first phase of Universal Access included increasing access to free legal representation in Housing Court to low-income New Yorkers in 15 ZIP codes across New York City that were identified as having high levels of eviction filings, shelter entry, and rent-regulated housing. During the second phase other high-risk ZIP codes were added, one in each borough, for a total of 20 ZIP codes across the city.