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The mission of Housing Court Answers is to promote and protect the true administration of justice in New York City Housing Courts. We provide information to unrepresented tenants and small landlords to put them on a more equal footing with those represented by lawyers.
Housing Court Answers serves over 50,000 people annually, primarily through our information tables in the Housing Courts and our hotline. Staff provides practical, easy-to-understand information in languages including Spanish, French, Mandarin, Haitian Creole, Chocossi and Ewe, on housing court practices, procedures and laws. Clients are referred to legal service providers, non-profits and government agencies that assist New Yorkers with housing issues. Housing Court Answers was founded in 1981 (as the Citywide Task Force on Housing Court) by advocates from community-based organizations concerned with the large number of tenants unable to secure a lawyer and facing eviction in Housing Court. Since then, Housing Court Answers (HCA) has worked to improve access to justice for unrepresented people in Housing Court. The vast majority do not understand the court procedures or legal terminology. HCA’s goal is to change the culture of the court so that litigants without lawyers get respectful treatment from all court personnel; clear, easy to understand instructions and fair settlements. The HCA hotline provides information on Housing Court procedures, laws and homelessness prevention programs to unrepresented tenants and landlords.