Judge Stroth talks about new programs coming to Brooklyn’s Housing Court
The Kings County Housing Court Bar Association hosted its monthly meeting in Downtown Brooklyn on Thursday, where Hon. Leslie A. Stroth spoke about new money that is coming into the court to help provide representation for low-income citizens.
“There are various programs that have been set up to help unrepresented litigants who are poor, and there is a lot more money flowing into some of those programs than ever before,” said Michael Rosenthal, president of the Kings County Housing Court Bar Association (KCHCBA). “So we were lucky to have Judge Stroth with us today to discuss how the various programs have been affected and how it will affect the court.”
While not a true Continuing Legal Education session, the meeting was helpful to attorneys; they had the chance to hear Stroth speak and were also given the opportunity to ask any questions they might have.
“There is more money from HRA [Human Resources Administration] coming, and there is more money from the court coming,” Stroth said. “This is happening; it’s something that everyone needs to get used to. It’s going to be more motion practice, as we’ve all observed.”
Stroth spent most of her time discussing Expanded Legal Services and the Housing Help Program (HHP), as well as other programs. These services help provide attorneys to non-represented litigants who qualify for financial help. HHP doesn’t just provide lawyers; in some cases, it provides access to social workers and paralegals — people who can help litigants better understand their rights and the services they need. Stroth also discussed legislation that the City Council is currently debating that could aid litigants.
“I read a statistic in the City Council proposal that said the city pays $44,000 a year to put a family in a shelter versus $2,000 to pay a legal services attorney to represent the family in court, so it’s cost effective for the city,” Stroth said. “The idea is to keep people from being homeless and keeping them out of shelters.
“This is going to be an expanded program; it’s going to keep growing, we’re going to see more and more attorneys assigned to litigants. If you have feedback or questions, I can put you in touch with [Hon. Jean T. Schneider], who manages the program.”
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