We are so excited to launch our campaign video on why tenants want NYC to expand Right to Counsel below here:
Tenants from across the city came together to explain our "Right to Counsel, Power to Organize" campaign and why we're calling on Mayor de Blasio to pass two critical pieces of legislation to ensure that everyone has the Right to Counsel and uses it to defend their homes!
Intro 1529 would require the city to support tenant organizing so that tenants know about Right to Counsel and use it to assert their rights. In the video, Randy Dillard, tenant leader with Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA), explains the importance of this bill:
"I was part of the Bronx Court Watch...We found out that the majority of the tenants who were there didn’t even know that they had a Right to Counsel. No tenant should have to go to court who doesn’t know about this right and them or their families might wind up in the shelters. That isn’t why this right was created."
Intro 1104 would double the income eligibility level for Right to Counsel, so that nearly everyone in housing court would have a right to a lawyer. In the video, Elizabeth Thompson, tenant leader with the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition, explains why this bill must be passed:
"I have been in and out of housing court since 2009. I was happy when I heard about the Right to Counsel law being passed, but was upset to learn that I don't qualify because I am considered over-income. It’s not fair that people who make minimum wage or receive Social Security benefits can’t qualify for the Right to Counsel."