NPR

'Someone To Speak For You': Low-Income Tenants Get Lawyers For Housing Court

A growing number of residents in New York City qualify for a first-in-the-nation program to provide free legal services to low-income tenants facing eviction.
Tenant Jacqueline Davis held back rent when her landlord didn't fix damage from a burst pipe. Source: Jenifer McKim

Jacqueline Davis walked into the Bronx's housing court hoping to stop her landlord from evicting her from the one-bedroom apartment she has lived in for nearly 30 years.

The 74-year-old retiree says her landlord moved to kick her out after she deducted part of her rent when a pipe burst and the ceiling collapsed, damaging her kitchen.

Worried about becoming homeless, Davis unexpectedly found some good news in the crowded hallways of New York City's busiest housing court, where more than 80,000 eviction proceedings were filed last fiscal year.

She's one of a growing number of residents

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min readPolitics
Ukrainian President's Party Wins Snap Elections In Bid To Consolidate Power
President Volodymyr Zelensky, who gained fame by playing a fictional president on television, hopes a new parliament will give him the clout to follow through on his promise to tackle corruption.
NPR3 min readSociety
'A Small Part Of A Serious Problem': Criminals Hired As Police Officers In Alaska
A joint investigation by the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica found that in one town, every officer had been convicted of domestic violence within the last 10 years.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Hill And Trump Administration Close In On 2-Year Budget Deal
The two-year deal to set spending levels and raise the debt limit would end a decade of roller coaster fiscal standoffs in Washington. Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin are finalizing it.