Law 360Marika Dias, attorney and director of the Safety Net Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York City, noted that evictions in the state typically take longer than four months to resolve, likely pushing pandemic-related disputes past the Dec. 31 threshold.
Law 360"Currently, in New York City alone, there are over 14,000 households with pending eviction warrants who are in imminent danger of displacement," Marika Dias, managing director of the Urban Justice Center's Safety Net Project, said in a Tuesday statement to Law360.
After months of hearing from clients experiencing significant issues with HRA's Infoline such as dropped calls and excessive wait times, the Urban Justice Center’s Safety Net Project decided to conduct an informal ‘audit’ to test the efficacy of the HRA Infoline. Between June 23, 2020 and August 4, 2020, we made 98 calls to the Infoline and tracked results. The overall rate of calls dropped was over 58 percent. In addition to dropped calls, we also documented significant issues.
NY Daily NewsThe Urban Justice Center, which is focused on helping people secure public benefits, found that more than 50% of calls to the city Human Resources Administration were dropped and 20% had wait times of more than eight minutes.
Curbed NYMarika Dias, the managing director of the Safety Net Project at the Urban Justice Center, stresses it’s a small but critical change that gives those tenants a last-ditch effort to defend their homes, but it’s still a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. “That’s a much better situation than what we were going to see unfold,” says Dias. “That said, people are not going to suddenly have their job or their health restored come October 1. The situation demands a political solution.”
The CityMeanwhile, the 30 people living in the hotel rooms meet every Tuesday evening with organizers from the Urban Justice Center and other groups to strategize, by consensus, their proposals to DHS.
Law 360"Cuomo's order gives permission for the courts to maintain a pause on eviction cases moving forward, but he's not requiring them to," said Marika Dias, managing director of the Safety Net Project at the Urban Justice Center. "So we could see a situation where the courts decide that even though they have permission to pause, they don't have to. Cuomo has taken no steps to prevent that."
Queens Daily EagleThe temporary hotel rooms are crucial for preventing the spread of the coronavirus among people experiencing homelessness or transitioning from jails, said Craig Hughes, a social worker supervisor with Safety Net Project of the Urban Justice Center.
Commercial Observer“There are questions about how to conduct something as complex as a trial, where people need to be able to cross-examine and raise objections of someone giving testimony, when they aren’t in the physical presence of the witness,” said Marika Dias, the managing director of the Safety Net project at the Urban Justice Center.
Daily NewsMarika Dias, director of the Safety Net Project at the Urban Justice Center, said it was critical that tenants know that while evictions are slowly starting to be filed, the process for considering the case and obtaining an order to leave an apartment remains on pause.