Newsweek Notes ‘Civil Gideon’ In Eviction Issue
If 2015 is going to be the “Tipping Point” year for civil Gideon in the United States, then stories like a recent Newsweek report are going to play an important role. Writer Victoria Bekiempis calls the right to council in eviction proceedings “another civil rights movement… quietly gaining momentum.”
Some key points in her report: In New York City, some 90 percent of tenants in housing court don’t have attorneys while about 90 percent of landlords do; about one-third of persons in NYC homeless shelters arrive immediately after an eviction; some 30,000 families were evicted last year; each bed in a New York City homeless shelter costs $36,000 annually, experts say, while it would cost $1,600 to $3,200 to represent a client in housing court.
Bekiempis’ story is the sort of year-starter that gets picked up (like, say, we’re doing now) and includes important resources for anyone interested in how justice gets rationed. For civil Gideon fans, it’s already required reading, and you can find it here: Housing: The Other Civil Rights Movement.