The Financial Cost and Benefits of Establishing a Right to Counsel in Eviction Proceedings Under Intro 214-A

By: Stout Risius Ross, Inc. (SRR). Published by: Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee of the New York City Bar Association. Published on: March 16, 2016

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Stout Risius Ross, a research and consulting firm, prepared an independent opinion regarding the cost and benefit to the City of Intro 214-A, legislation that would create a right to legal representation for low-income New Yorkers in eviction, ejectment and foreclosure proceedings. In reviewing the reports from the Independent Budget Office and the Finance Department of the City of New York, SRR identified, compared, and evaluated key components of each report. Additionally, SRR has identified certain benefits / cost savings that funding right to counsel in eviction matters would bring to the city that are not included in either the IBO or Finance reports. The report concludes that New York City would realize a benefit from Intro 214-A of $320 million annually.

Findings

  1. Cost of Providing Counsel: SRR has estimated the annual cost of Intro 214-A to be approximately $199 million.
  2. Benefit of Reduced Homeless Shelter Cost: SRR has estimated that 5,237 families annually could avoid shelter entry from anti-eviction legal services.
  3. Benefit of Affordable Housing Cost Savings: It is estimated that 3,414 units of rent-regulated, affordable housing will be preserved from providing legal counsel in eviction defense. Preserving these units results in savings of over $1.3 billion annually in replacement costs.
  4. Benefit of Unsheltered Homeless Cost Savings: As anti-eviction legal services has been estimated to reduce warrants of eviction by 77%, SRR has estimated the savings from Intro 214-A to the City from unsheltered homeless cost savings at approximately $9 million annually.


Categories: Homeless, Housing, Housing, Legal Aid Attorneys, Legal Aid Practitioners, News Media, Policymakers and Funders, Researchers and Academics, State-Specific

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