COVID-19 Tenant Legal Assistance Project Aids Suffolk Tenants in Financial Distress

Thanks to a grant from the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, the ability of Nassau Suffolk Law Services to assist tenants facing housing insecurity as a result of the pandemic has expanded. Many people who previously had stable incomes became unable to pay their rent during the pandemic and may now be facing eviction as a result. Our new COVID-19 Tenant Legal Assistance Project may be able to help.

Eviction proceedings are taking place now. Tenants who have fallen behind on their rent or whose landlords have simply opted not to continue renting face a real and immediate risk of eviction. While New York has enacted important protections for people struggling to pay their rent as a result of the pandemic, these protections are not automatic. It may be difficult for many people to understand their rights or establish pandemic-related defenses without assistance from an attorney. Read on for information about training sessions for the public and advocates on landlord-tenant law during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 Tenant Legal Assistance Project, which will harness the generosity of volunteer attorneys, seeks to assist eligible Suffolk County tenants facing financial hardship. Volunteer attorneys will provide advice and counsel over the phone or through virtual counseling sessions. Those who are interested may also represent tenants in court on a limited scope representation basis with no commitment to ongoing representation. Michele Fischetti, an NSLS staff attorney with years of experience representing tenants, will coordinate the program and provide training and support to volunteers.

Nassau Suffolk Law Services' Civil Units in both counties and the Volunteer Attorney of the Day program in Nassau County also continue to serve low-income clients, with the goal of being available at all Landlord-Tenant court days island-wide.

Tenants facing eviction should call our offices at 631-232-2400 in Suffolk or 516-292-8100 in Nassau. Attorneys interested in volunteering in Suffolk County to help people struggling to recover from the economic consequences of the pandemic may contact Michele Fischetti at mfischetti@nsls.legal. Attorneys interested in the Volunteer Attorney of the Day program in Nassau County may contact Roberta Scoll at rscoll@nsls.legal.



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