Who has the right to a free lawyer?
Right to Counsel (RTC) is a law that guarantees tenants the right to a free lawyer to defend their eviction case. Right now, the law only applies to people who live in certain zip codes and make a certain amount of money or less (called being “income eligible”). It covers all types of eviction cases and tenants (Section 8, public housing/NYCHA, rent stabilized, people who live in houses). People of all immigration statuses qualify. And even if you’re not income eligible, you may still qualify for a free legal consultation. The goal is for all zip codes to be covered by the program by 2021.
Eviction Free NYC can help you figure out if you qualify for a free lawyer under Right to Counsel. Even if you don’t qualify, the tool will suggest other resources in your area that you can reach out to. Read on to see what other steps you can take.