The following is a statement from Bronx Borough President Diaz regarding the “Right to Counsel” program announcement:
“A “right to counsel” for tenants in housing court has long been a priority of my administration. Today’s announcement is a victory for the elected leaders and advocates who have made the case that providing tenants with legal representation will help level the playing field between them and their landlords and, most importantly, keep New Yorkers in their homes.
Research shows this proposal would be cheaper than funding shelter beds and other services for tenants who might otherwise become homeless. With several major rezonings under consideration across the five boroughs, including the administration’s proposal for the Jerome Avenue corridor, it is imperative that we provide tenants with the tools they need to stay in their communities during times of transformation. Recognizing a tenant’s “right to counsel” in housing court is a tremendous step towards increased stability in our neighborhoods.
I would like to especially congratulate Council Member Mark Levine, the prime sponsor of “right to counsel” legislation, for his efforts to bring this program to New York City. I look forward to working with Council Member Levine and others on the implementation of this program,”
Ruben Diaz Jr.
Bronx Borough President