City to work with lawyers to aid tenants during evictions

According to Mid-Hudson News, POUGHKEEPSIE – With the COVID-driven eviction moratorium lifted, many city residents are facing eviction due to an increase in rents. The city council is working with Mayor Marc Nelson to provide assistance to tenants facing eviction. The council has established a “Housing Solutions” committee and Nelson, along with the council, is in negotiations with the Dutchess County Bar Association (DCBA) to pay for attorneys to provide legal advice to tenants facing eviction.

The 2023 approved city budget included $150,000 in funding for the eviction advice program, earmarked for the Dutchess County Bar Association. The proposal was offered by Councilman Nathan Shook, an attorney by trade. According to Mayor Nelson, “The administration is looking forward to initiating a program that will assist those tenants that are facing eviction proceedings, including illegal evictions.”

The program is slated to have benchmarks so the city can evaluate the program’s successes.

According to Dutchess County Bar Association Executive Director Janna Whearty, the bar association is honored to be working with the city on this program. “The DCBA is excited to have received a grant from the City of Poughkeepsie to provide limited-scope representation for those facing eviction in city court,” noting that the program will begin within the next few months. “We are still working with the City to finalize the logistics of the program, but anticipate that beginning in the next few months there will be an attorney present during housing court sessions.” The DCBA attorney will not be representing the tenants but will be able to offer advice and guidance to those facing eviction.”

The DCBA will be tasked with scheduling the attorneys for court appearances, managing the program’s expenses, and will be involved in evaluating the effectiveness of the program.

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