Advocates, pols rally for right-to-counsel funding in City Hall


Elected officials and housing rights advocates rallied on Monday in City Hall Park to push for new bills aimed at funding the Right-to-Counsel.

Six years after the Right-to-Counsel law was passed, speakers lamented that they found themselves back to demand action on the topic. The Right-to-Counsel law mandates that those facing eviction be afforded a lawyer to help them navigate the legal complexities and emotional hardships resulting from the process.

However, according to the bills’ sponsor, City Council Member Shaun Abreu, the hard-fought law is currently severely underfunded, leaving some without lawful access. 

Advocates and pols gathered in City Hall to demand more funding for the Right-to-Counsel on March 27. Photo by Dean Moses

“Though they are entitled to an attorney, less than 10% of cases, less than 10% of tenants at the end of last year were going through court without a lawyer, less than 10%. And we know that having a lawyer helps some stay in their home, 84% of tenants who had an attorney were able to stay in their home,” Abreu said. “Let’s be clear, this is a moral failure that we as a city must recognize.”