New York City Council Considering a Bill to Provide Free Legal Representation to Lower-Income Individuals Facing Eviction or Foreclosure

New York City might become the first jurisdiction in the United States to provide free legal representation to lower-income tenants or homeowners facing eviction or foreclosure. While the US Constitution only guarantees a lawyer to criminal defendants, the New York City Council is considering expanding this requirement to include giving free legal counsel to lower-income individuals facing eviction or foreclosure. Tenants would need to have an annual income below $44,000 (or less than twice the federal poverty line) to qualify. According to a New York City Bar Association report, this would render tenants in approximately 128,000 cases currently eligible under the proposed bill.

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