Renters Welcome Extension of Sandy Aid Deadline to October 31
In late September, the City of New York extended the deadline for enrollment in Build It Back, an aid program for those affected by Superstorm Sandy last year. Make the Road New York (MRNY) said the extension was especially welcome news for renters, few of whom have signed up.
“In the weeks before the deadline, MRNY found that only 11% of renters had registered for the program, pointing to the critical need for more outreach and time to address renters’ needs,” said MRNY Co-Executive Director Deborah Axt. “Rents have skyrocketed in affected areas, and many renters are still living on friends’ and family’s couches, in garages, in their cars or sleeping in hallways because they cannot afford to move back home.” Axt said MRNY will advocate for additional deadline extensions if they are needed.
NYC Aids Family Defense Against Deportation
New York City now has the nation’s first public program to defend immigrants who are threatened with deportation. With $500,000 in City funding, a pilot program called the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project will support non-profits that provide free legal counsel to immigrant families who need representation.
“As a judge, I have been struck by the too often poor quality of lawyering for immigrants, indeed, the too often absence of counsel for immigrants, which all but dooms an immigrant’s case,” federal judge Robert Katzmann told NY1. The judge said that immigrants represented by an experienced immigration attorney succeeded two-thirds of the time, while less than one-tenth of those who had no legal representation were able to win their cases.
The project is administered by the Vera Institute of Justice.