Housing court

As the number of eviction cases rises, a shortage of attorneys is forcing an increasing number of tenants to move forward with legal representation under a city program meant to keep New Yorkers in their homes.
A city program that provides free legal services for low-income New Yorkers is struggling with a shortage of lawyers as a slate of eviction cases moves forward more than two months after a statewide moratorium was lifted.
Nearly two months after New York’s eviction moratorium expired, attorneys who provide free legal services as part of a city program are struggling to keep up with demand for legal representation in housing court.
Only 23,395 eviction cases have been filed in New York City since June – less than half as many as during the same time last year, despite hardships created by the pandemic. Tenant advocates fear many more are on the way.
"The devil is in the details, and we have yet to see an executive order with any specifics."
Brooklyn’s housing court trials have resumed in a new location that’s considered safer in a pandemic than the cramped civil court building, but some parties are still reluctant to appear in person.
The reopening will proceed slowly but the city’s housing courts are notoriously busy and it may not be long before business ramps up again.
'It’s a constant fear of what’s going to happen.'
The coffee shop Pudge Knuckles closed in mid-June 2016, when a fire in its century-old Williamsburg building set off sprinklers that flooded the place.
"He's doing all sorts of foul stuff," a worker for the landlord said. "He's a thief."
He also allegedly pulled electrical sockets out of the wall and bashed holes in the ceiling with a sledgehammer.
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