The Universal Access to Legal Services law made New York City the first city in the country to ensure that anyone facing eviction in court will have access to legal help. Over the next several years, OCJ is implementing Universal Access in phases, providing tenants across New York City who are facing eviction in Housing Court and NYCHA tenancy termination proceedings with access to free legal services. If you are facing an eviction case, a lawyer can:
Today, Universal Access is growing in phases, and full implementation will be completed in 2022, when every tenant facing an eviction case will have access to free legal services.
During the first phases of Universal Access, all low-income tenants facing eviction in Housing Court who live in the following ZIP codes have access to full legal representation - a defense lawyer on their eviction case, from the beginning until the end of the case:
Bronx: 10457, 10467, 10468, 10462*
Brooklyn: 11216, 11221, 11225, 11226*
Manhattan: 10025, 10026, 10027, 10031*
Queens: 11373, 11433, 11434, 11385*
Staten Island: 10302, 10303, 10314, 10310*
*new for 2018
Tenants living in these ZIP codes who are facing eviction in Housing Court can access free legal services through any of the following:
In addition to Universal Access, OCJ oversees legal programs that provide free eviction defense legal assistance citywide, offer legal help to tenants, buildings and tenant associations to help preserve their housing and protect against harassment or misconduct, and provide representation and legal advice in a range of housing-related cases.
These legal services are currently targeted in select neighborhoods listed below, but tenants from across New York City can ask for legal assistance through any of the following:
These services are available subject to eligibility criteria and service capacity. For more information, please contact OCJ at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Carroll Gardens/Red Hook||11231, 11207|
|East New York||11208|
|East Harlem||10029, 10035|
|Long Island City||11101|
|Far Rockaway||11691, 11692|
Housing-related legal services are also available at the City's Family Justice Centers, which provide comprehensive civil legal, counseling and supportive services for survivors of domestic violence, elder abuse and sex trafficking.
NYC Family Justice Center, Brooklyn
350 Jay Street
NYC Family Justice Center, Bronx
198 East 161st Street
NYC Family Justice Center, Manhattan
80 Centre Street
NYC Family Justice Center, Queens
126-02 82nd Avenue
NYC Family Justice Center, Staten Island
126 Stuyvesant Place
OCJ legal services are free and you do not have to be an existing HRA client to apply.
Legal services are available for tenants regardless of immigration status.