The Real Deal New York

Evictions in NYC down 18% in 2015

New legal services, anti-homeless efforts contributed to drop
March 01, 2016 10:30AM

From left: Mayor Bill de Blasio and Justice Fern Fisher

From left: Mayor Bill de Blasio and Justice Fern Fisher

The number of evictions in the city fell sharply last year in a win for officials fighting a wave of homelessness.

A total of 21,988 residents were evicted in the city last year, down 26,857 in 2014, an 18 percent reduction and the lowest level since 2005. The number of nonpayment cases brought by landlords fell by only 2 percent over the same period.

The city has actively worked to reduce evictions, with officials allocated nearly $46 million in funds for tenant legal services over the past two years.

“The money the city put in for lawyers is working,” Justice Fern Fisher, who directs the city’s Housing Court, told the New York Times, which first reported the story.

She also praised moves by the Human Resources Administration to hasten emergency payments to residents in danger of becoming homeless.

“Some combination of things is working,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told the paper.

The drop is good for landlords as well, as the majority of evictions occur over non-payment of rent.

The Rent Stabilization Administration’s Mitchell Posilkin, however, told the Times that other factors – such as the reduction in staff at Housing Court, which has created longer wait times for landlords – could be at play as well.

“It’s only a movement in the right direction if it means that owners are receiving the rent they need to operate their buildings,” he told the Times. [NYT]Ariel Stulberg