Can all tenants get a lawyer right now?


Changing the way our courts work is a big job and the city, the courts and the legal services providers need time. The courts need to find space, train staff and develop procedures that honor tenants’ integrity. Legal services providers need to hire and train more staff. It is not possible to go from where we are today to everyone having an attorney tomorrow. Therefore, RTC is being phased in by zip codes over 5 years.

Every year, until 2022, the city picks zip codes based on factors including the number of evictions, shelter entries and rent stabilized units. If you live in these zip codes, and are income eligible, tenant attorneys have to take your case--you have the RIGHT to an attorney. Attorneys are free.

Remember, the zip code model is TEMPORARY. By 2022, zip codes will be irrelevant, and everyone who is income eligible will have the right to an attorney.