After nearly a decade of climbing in New York City, eviction rates dropped 6.9 percent in 2014 from a decade-long peak of 28,849, but city figures show evictions falling at an even more staggering pace last year.

  • The number of evictions dwindled by 18 percent to 21,988 in 2015.
  • HomeBase– Mayor Bill de Blasio’s homelessness prevention program providing anti-eviction legal services to tenants– intends to assist 32,700 households per year.
  • $20.5 million was recently allocated for HomeBase’s Anti-Harassment Tenant Protection Program.
  • May de Blasio also plans to reactivate a homeless prevention program aimed at prompting those at risk of eviction to reach out early on and diminish the likelihood of entering a shelter.

After nearly a decade of climbing in New York City, eviction rates dropped 6.9 percent in 2014 from a decade-long peak of 28,849, but city figures show evictions falling at an even more staggering pace last year.

The number of evictions dwindled by 18 percent to 21,988 in 2015– perhaps an effect of local government’s $6 million spent on anti-eviction programs in 2013. In September, the Human Resources Administration and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to fund $46.3 million in 2016 that would expand to $61.8 million in 2017.

[graphiq id=”hSFF5ppsp5X” title=”Household Income Distribution in New York City, NY” width=”600″ height=”514″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/hSFF5ppsp5X” link=”http://places.findthehome.com/l/71121/New-York-City-NY” link_text=”Household Income Distribution in New York City, NY | FindTheHome”]

“The economic recovery that so many New Yorkers are enjoying now hasn’t reached everyone. Too many families are becoming homeless for purely economic reasons– their wages are flat while their rent is steep,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement.

These funds, a broader aspect of HomeBase– de Blasio’s homelessness prevention program providing anti-eviction legal services to tenants on the brink of losing their rentals– intend to assist 32,700 households per year, or 113,000 people total.

“Too often, low-income tenants in Housing Court without a lawyer face a landlord with a lawyer and that, rather than the facts or the law, determines the outcome,” announced Steven Banks, Human Resources Administration Commissioner. “Our expanded program will protect more families and individuals and prevent additional New Yorkers from becoming homeless by keeping them in their homes and preserving affordable housing.”

While $25.8 million– which includes $12.3 million in new funds– is for legal services for 19,000 households per year, $20.5 million is allocated for HomeBase’s Anti-Harassment Tenant Protection Program.

In 2017, the Tenant Protection Program funds expand to $36 million and will serve more than 13,700 households. The remaining $12.3 million is for the expansion of anti-eviction legal services for Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island residents.

In addition, de Blasio plans to reactivate a homeless prevention program called, “Imagine.” The program aims at prompting those at risk of eviction to reach out early on and diminish the likelihood of entering a shelter. Campaign advertisements are featured on television and on print in subways, buses and check-cashing facilities through April.

“With these programs, we are intervening early to keep families in their homes before shelter becomes their only option,” de Blasio said.

As outlined in its plan, the city represents tenants who face illegal evictions and represents lessees in court cases without a fee. In addition to their primary efforts, representatives have been identifying renters without essential services, such as proper heating. The city repairs apartment defects and leaves landlords with the bill.

At a news conference in late February, de Blasio indicated the suspension of rent-stabilization last year combined with the city’s efforts to fight illegal evictions on behalf of underrepresented tenants could be the cause behind the drop, as reported by the New York Times.

Email Jennifer Riner

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