News

Court Navigators: Changing Lives & Making Headlines

Jan 27, 2017 |

Our life-changing Court Navigators program - part of our eviction prevention program, Project Home - was just featured on Fox 5 NY. More than 70 percent of low-income tenants in NYC go without lawyers in Housing Court, while nearly 99% of landlords have attorneys to represent them. 

University Settlement's Court Navigators program addresses that gap by training volunteers who can help guide - or navigate - tenants through the housing court process without acting as an official lawyer. It's a life-changing step that we know keeps people in their homes. 

Check out the segment on Fox 5 NY's website, or check it out below!

Volunteers help New Yorkers 'navigate' courts

By: ZACHARY KIESCH
POSTED:JAN 25 2017 10:56PM EST

NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - A program is lending a hand to people who have recently been evicted.

When Wilburn Porter, who is legally blind, lost work and found himself in tenant court, he thought he was going to lose his apartment. Porter was able to take advantage of a program at University Settlements -- court navigators, like Ernesto Martinez.

In 2014, Judge Jonathan Lippman noticed a justice gap in tenant court. Almost all landlords were legally represented but most tenants weren't. And there were few resources for attorneys with low-income folks.

So the Court Navigator Program was launched. Court navigators "provide general information, written materials, and one-on-one assistance to eligible unrepresented litigants," according to the New York State Courts website.

 

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