Universal Statewide Right to Counsel is the best way to keep New Yorkers housed! RTCNYC Responds to 2023 State of the State

January 11, 2023

Governor Hochul’s clear omission of tenant protections from the State of the State is beyond disappointing. What good are new housing units if there are no protections for tenants to STAY in those housing units? If housing is a human right, if the governor truly cares about mental health, affordable housing and public safety, then tenant protections and eviction prevention must be central to any progressive agenda. Our bill for Statewide Right to Counsel would establish a RIGHT for all tenants across the state to free legal representation in court cases where tenants' basic human right to a home is at risk and it would mandate that the courts uphold it, fixing the crisis in NYC. Given the power, track record and success of Right to Counsel--Statewide Right to Counsel must be a priority for an affordable housing plan. In addition, we need a broad package of tenant protections such as Good Cause, HAVP and TOPA and we look forward to working with the legislature and the Governor to ensure tenant protections are central to this session’s agenda.