New York Elected Officials Laud Attorney General James' COVID-19 Tenant Legal Assistance Initiative

NEW YORK – Following Attorney General Letitia James’ announcement of the regional grantees for the COVID-19 Tenant Legal Assistance Initiative, local elected officials issued the following statements lauding the program:

“I am grateful that the Attorney General is providing grants to enable organizations like Legal Services of the Hudson Valley to continue their important work helping those with rent and eviction issues,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “We are all concerned with these issues especially during the pandemic, and this funding will be invaluable in helping LSHV to continue assisting those throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley who have had no place else to go for advice. I thank Attorney General James for making these grants available, and I congratulate LSHV for their continued good work.” 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a tremendous financial strain, especially for those with low and moderate incomes,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “We are thrilled that Legal Services of the Hudson Valley has been named one of the grantees of the Tenant Legal Assistance Initiative, and we thank Attorney General Letitia James for her leadership on this issue. These funds will go a long way towards helping some of our most vulnerable residents secure decent and affordable housing during an already difficult time.” 

“While we continue to put the public health of our community at the forefront, we must also do our part to help people keep safe, reliable and affordable housing,” said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “Just last week, Monroe County announced a new initiative that will invest $6 million in CARES Act funding to help those facing eviction through direct funds and a streamlined court system. I am grateful for the support from Attorney General Letitia James, which will help to ensure more Monroe County residents are able to stay in their homes as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

“As we face the COVID-19 Pandemic, we must remember ‘housing is healthcare’ and provide legal representation to prevent evictions and assist those struggling financially to get back on track,” said State Senator Neil Breslin. “I thank the Attorney General’s commitment to ensuring that everyone will have access to the legal representation they deserve.” 

“This pandemic has not only threatened public health, it has seriously impacted the livelihoods of millions of New Yorkers,” said State Senator Tim Kennedy. “People should not have to worry about whether they’ll be able to keep a roof over their head at a time when almost all of their energy is devoted to simply staying healthy. This grant for the Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project will provide meaningful support for those facing extreme hardship during a difficult and uncertain time in our nation’s history. I commend the Attorney General for her continued efforts to address housing crises across New York.” 

“The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout have laid bare the fragility of housing for so many New Yorkers,” said State Senator Shelley Mayer. “During such a difficult time when so many of our neighbors are at risk of losing their homes, it is essential that they have legal representation to help them through the eviction process. I thank Attorney General Letitia James for providing this essential funding to Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, which has been such an indispensable resource during such a difficult time.” 

“New Yorkers should never have to choose between their health and having a roof over their heads, especially during a pandemic,” said State Senator Kevin Thomas. “I applaud Attorney General James for her continued efforts to ensure that New Yorkers receive the critical support they need to protect themselves from eviction during these exceptionally challenging times.” 

“The pandemic has placed a tremendous financial burden on individuals and families across the state,” said Assemblymember Donna Lupardo. “With so much to worry about, no one should lose their housing just because they can’t afford a lawyer. I appreciate the Attorney General’s commitment to ensuring that everyone will have access to legal representation. I also want to thank her for focusing on the systemic issues New Yorkers face when trying to find safe, affordable housing.”  

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating consequences for the most vulnerable among us, and organizations, like Nassau Suffolk Law Services, have been a vital source of support for those New Yorkers who need our help the most,” said Assemblymember Kimberly Jean-Pierre. “I applaud and thank Attorney General James for allocating these funds for this critical initiative, which will undoubtedly help keep Long Islanders in their homes as we continue navigating these extremely difficult times.” 

“One of the largest looming potential consequences of the pandemic is the threat of mass evictions,” said Assemblymember Pamela Hunter. “Although we have placed a moratorium on evictions, the time is fast approaching for stayed eviction proceedings to commence. I applaud the Attorney General’s actions to ensure that all tenants have the legal representation that they are entitled to. No one should lose their home from a loss of income through no fault of their own.”