Across New York State eviction filings are surging. Rental assistance is running dry and families are facing the violence of being forced from their homes at staggering rates. Housing in stability is causing lasting damage to our schools, our health-care systems, and our state as a whole.
The root cause of the housing crisis is the severe power imbalance between tenants and landlords — an imbalance of power that is felt most acutely in New York State’s broken court system. That’s why we are leading the fight for Good Cause tenant protections — legislation that would give households necessary tools to fight their eviction cases in court. We are likewise proud to support Right to Counsel in their campaign to ensure every family in New York State has the right to representation when facing eviction court.
Governor Kathy Hochul puts all of our efforts at risk by nominating Justice LaSalle to serve as Chief Judge for the New York State Court of Appeals. His clear conservative bias undermines New Yorkers’ ability to assert their rights at home and organize for safer living conditions. In the coming years, New York State’s highest court will hear more cases like Regina Metropolitan Co. v. New York State Division of Housing & Community Renewal, which, as that terrible 2020 decision did, risks undoing our hard-fought tenant protections. They will likewise determine the fate of local good cause protections. It is critical for New York renters that we get a fair hearing.
The Democratic State Senate has long stood on the side of tenants and they should do so again today. We urge the Senate to reject this nomination and fight instead for a fair New York State Court. We additionally call on the legislature to swiftly pass good cause eviction and statewide right to counsel this legislative session — and work to make our broken court system more fair and just.