Get Support In Housing Court

When a landlord wants to evict a tenant, they take the tenant to Housing Court. In court, landlords almost always have a lawyer advocating for them, while tenants rarely do. When tenants do have lawyers, they are much less likely to be evicted.

To make sure people facing eviction have a better chance of staying in their homes, advocates successfully got New York City to pass the Right To Counsel bill in 2017. This new law guarantees a free lawyer to low-income tenants in Housing Court. But many tenants don’t know they have this right, don’t know hwo to get a lawyer, or don’t understand that a lawyer can make a big difference in the outcome of their case.

To get the word out, CUP teamed up with Housing Court Answers, the Right to Counsel Coalition, and designers Hanah Ho, Chelsea Atwell, and Ida Woldemichael to create Get Support in Housing Court. This fold-out poster explains who has the right to a lawyer, how to find your lawyer, and all the ways that a lawyer can help a tenant.

The Right to Counsel Coalition will use this guide as an organizing and teaching tool for the 30 organizations that make up their coalition. Tenant organizers will use the guide to educate tenants on the protections Right to Council provides, how to access them, and to reassure tenants they can successfully fight eviction threats from their landlords. Housing Court Answers also plans to distribute the guide at their tables in Housing Court and at their city-wide trainings and community outreach meetings.

Resources & Links

Housing Court Answers has been advocating for people without lawyers in NYC’s Housing Courts since 1981.

Right to Counsel NYC Coalition works to secure justice in New York City’s housing courts, protect affordable housing, and prevent displacement. 

Chelsea Atwell, Hanah Ho, and Ida Woldemichael are designers, friends, and collaborators. 

Making Policy Public is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). CUP partners with policy advocates and graphic designers to produce foldout posters that explain complicated policy issues, like this one.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

General support for CUP’s programs is provided in part by The Kresge Foundation, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, New York Foundation, Sigrid Rausing Trust, Surdna Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Special Thanks

Christine Gaspar, Miranda Grundy, Jade Levine, Frampton Tolbert, Débora Aquino, Genesis Aquino, Rosette Awad, Jennifer Batista, Susanna Blankley, Gina Cavanna, Marika Dias, Robert Diaz, Randy Dillard, Dina, Pedro Ariel Dominguez, Alyssa Figueroa, Thomas Fox, Lara Govan, Roma Marie Irizarry R.D.H, John Kowalchik Jr., Austria Lopez, Nova Lucero, Jose Ramos, Andrew Scherer, Kim Statuto, Elizabeth Thompson, Larry Wood

Participants

  • CUP
  • Clair Beltran
  • Mark Torrey
    • Housing Court Answers
    • Alexander Chaparro
    • Jessica Hurd
    • Jenny Laurie
    • Designers 
    • Chelsea Atwell
    • Hanah Ho
    • Ida Woldemichael