Bill to provide city tenants with free legal services

Under the bill, New Yorkers who earn less than $50,000 a year would qualify for free representation in housing court.

Under the bill, New Yorkers who earn less than $50,000 a year would qualify for free representation in housing court. (2/16/17)

NEW YORK - The Right to Counsel bill will help give city tenants a fighting chance in housing court by providing free legal representation, according to its supporters.

Under the bill, New Yorkers who earn less than $50,000 a year would qualify for free representation in housing court. City Councilman Andrew Cohen of the Bronx is a co-sponsor of the measure.

City Council is doubling the amount of funding for the measure by investing $93 million to help tenants who cannot afford a lawyer.

Tenant advocates believe the free legal services will level the playing field for tenants who are getting priced out of sought-after neighborhoods and apartments they've called home for years.

Supporters estimate that close to a half-million New Yorkers will benefit from the bill when it goes into effect sometime next year.

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