New Article: “The Impact of Right to Counsel to the Poor: Evidence from New York City Housing Courts”

New Article: Ellen Liaw, The Impact of Right to Counsel to the Poor: Evidence from New York City Housing Courts, SSRN. Abstract below:

Access to the formal justice system is presumed in the United States, yet it remains out of reach to most poor. One crucial context is eviction in housing courts where the difference in legal access is stark between landlords and tenants. To mitigate such disparity, New York City introduced a novel policy in 2018 to provide right to counsel in housing courts for income-eligible tenants facing eviction. Taking advantage of the staggered roll-out schedule on the zip code level, I estimate the causal effect of the policy change using a difference-in-differences approach. Despite no statistically significant impact on eviction filings, I find a 16.9 percent decrease in quarterly evictions. The results demonstrate positive impacts of tenant representation on evictions in the short run.

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