More Bronx residents at risk of being evicted

Since the beginning of 2022, NYC’s Department of Social Services rejected two-thirds of the applications for public assistance to cover rent arrears. At the same time, landlords have filled hundreds of thousands of eviction notice that are now being notified to many of our clients.

Historically, public assistance programs like the One Shot Deal Emergency Assistance program help people whose obligations cannot be met due to unforeseen circumstances. However, with tens of thousands of applicants being turned away from this service, which for many is the last resort before eviction, the issues surrounding the city’s housing community has swiftly turned into a crisis.

Despite the existence of a city law that guarantees legal representation to low-income New Yorkers, there is no current system in place to account for surmounting numbers of tenants receiving evictions notices; this issue has created a demand for legal assistance that supersedes the amount of help available in our communities.

“At POTS, we have seen clients line up since 4 a.m., counting on us to help their families stay housed” says Elizabeth Maris, POTS Supervising Attorney. “We do our best to take in as many cases as possible, since clients who are evicted could face incredibly complex obstacles to regain stability after falling into the shelter system”.

With the recent opening of a second location in Grand Concourse, POTS is gearing up to increase the size of its Legal Clinic and its capacity to provide support to more clients in the near future. While the scope of the housing crisis is far too great for POTS to tackle alone, our goal is to be part of the much larger solution to homelessness within our communities. Stay tuned for more updates about this crisis.