On Wednesday, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer toured the Bronx County Housing Court and held a press availability with members of Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) at which he announced that he was supportive of City legislation that would provide attorneys to New Yorkers facing eviction or foreclosures.
“When a tenant walks into this building they’re already at a tremendous disadvantage. If it weren’t for CASA and other groups, they would have absolutely no opportunity to get the justice and the representation they deserve. This must change,” Comptroller Stringer said.
There were more housing cases filed in the Bronx Housing Court than in any other borough in 2013. According to the New York City Civil Courts, there are nearly 300,000 cases filed in housing court every year. Statistics show that nearly 30,000 families were evicted in 2013, highlighting the need for more information and services for tenants across the five boroughs.
Following his tour, Comptroller Stringer also commented on the impediments placed before those who come to the court, including the lack of signage at the facility.
“One of the things that I saw on the tour today was pretty depressing. In a city and in a borough where the Latino population continues to grow, there was not one bilingual sign in the whole place. I couldn’t find one. You walk in, there’s a big picture of lady justice, but there’s no big picture of the rules of housing court to tell people what their rights are and what they should look out for,” Stringer said.