De Blasio: Evictions fell 24 percent between 2013-2015


New York City evictions fell by 24 percent from 2013 to 2015, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

There were 22,000 evictions by the city marshals in 2015 and 28,000 in 2013, de Blasio said Tuesday, adding that most occur in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Eviction numbers for 2014 were not available.

More than a quarter of all tenants in New York City housing court are now represented by lawyers — up from barely 1 percent in 2013, the mayor said.

The figures come as funding for the new Office of Civil Justice, which helps connect tenants with legal representation, will get more than $100 million in funding during the current fiscal year.

De Blasio said tenants who think they’re being wrongly evicted should call 311 to be connected with a city-sponsored lawyer to help fight the attempt to kick them out of their homes.

“When we save a family from eviction, we give that family a chance to get their lives right and to move forward,” he said. “When a family slips into the shelter system, it take a long time to come back from that.”

Sitting with de Blasio was Maria Medina, 70, who cares for her 12-year-old autistic great-grandson and her 67-year-old mentally disabled brother in their $1,300-per-month one-bedroom apartment. She said the family would have become homeless were it not for the lawyer who helped prove that her landlord was falsely claiming that she wasn’t paying rent.

A housing court judge rejected the eviction petition by Medina’s landlord, Ved Parkash.

A telephone number listed for Parkash rang unanswered when called for comment. Parkash ranks No. 1 on “100 Worst Landlords in New York City,” a registry maintained by Public Advocate Letitia James. James’ office says Parkash has racked up 2,369 violations in his buildings.

More than 200,000 residential eviction petitions are filed every year in New York City, according to a report distributed Tuesday. Most are for nonpayment of rent.

De Blasio said his administration is looking into whether to use a 1962 law to allow the city to stop paying landlords for tenants who get public assistance.

 

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