Eviction and Homelessness Prevention in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis
December 2, 2020
The global coronavirus has brought uncertainty and anxiety into people’s lives, workplaces, and neighborhoods, particularly for those who work to improve the health of our communities.
During this difficult time, many organizations across New York State are working tirelessly to keep people safe, especially the most vulnerable. In response, NYSHealth is supporting statewide and local efforts to address emerging health care and public health needs in the wake of the pandemic. In 2020, NYSHealth awarded the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County (VLP) a grant to prevent evictions and homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under this grant, VLP will provide virtual advocacy for and legal services and representation to low- and moderate-income residents of Syracuse, many of whom have experienced job losses during the pandemic. VLP will offer free legal services to tenants facing eviction to help them remain in safe and stable housing. It will work with the courts and community partner agencies to connect with tenants and help them resolve disputes with landlords without requiring a court appearance. If a court appearance is required, VLP will provide tenants with free legal representation to prevent the eviction and/or reduce the amount owed. Tenants will be connected to other financial and social services that they need to remain stable in their homes.