September 24, 2020
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Attorney General Letitia James Announces Grantees for COVID-19 Tenant Legal Assistance Initiative
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced the recipients of the COVID-19 Tenant Legal Assistance Initiative grants, a program that was launched earlier this year to support housing during COVID-19. The six grantees will develop and manage regional volunteer attorney programs across the state to provide support for tenants facing eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to providing legal support, as part of the program, these organizations will work together to identify systemic housing issues that New Yorkers outside of New York City face.
“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more New Yorkers than ever are facing tough times and the threat of losing their homes,” said Attorney General James. “Too many New Yorkers don’t have access to the legal representation and support needed to protect themselves from eviction, especially when they are already feeling the financial strains of this crisis. Every New Yorker deserves access to a safe and decent home, and my office will continue our efforts to protect that basic right.”
“Before the pandemic struck, more than half of Long Island families struggled to pay their rent each month,” said Jeffrey Seigel, executive director, Nassau Suffolk Law Services. “Even a minor financial set-back could put these families at risk of homelessness and risk destabilizing their communities. The COVID-19 crisis has upended the lives of many people in our community and complicated the legal issues people at risk of eviction face. Nassau Suffolk Law Services is grateful to the Attorney General’s office for supporting our work to prevent homelessness which is more critical than ever before.”
The funds for this program come from the National Mortgage Settlement, and the OAG is using $742,000 to support one year of the program. An RFP was released on August 4, 2020 to kickstart the competitive process and applications were due on August 25, 2020.
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