Expand Right to Counsel Statewide | 2023 NYS Legislative Agenda

Legal representation is a critical part of the solution to an eviction crisis. For the same reasons we supported the New York City law, the City Bar supports the extension of the right to counsel (RTC) in housing court proceedings statewide. If done right, and if robustly funded so that tenants are provided with meaningful legal representation, RTC can preserve low-income housing, stabilize communities, promote stability in the households of thousands of children, and reduce the incidence of homelessness and its concomitant human and governmental costs.  With respect to New York City’s RTC law, we are currently seeing far too many tenants in New York City having to proceed without counsel. Any state level funding should also include sufficient funds necessary to fully carry out New York City’s law.