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New Orleans and Detroit join ranks of cities with tenant right to counsel

May 11, 2022

This month, the New Orleans and Detroit City Councils passed legislation to ensure a right to an attorney in eviction cases, making them the 17th and 18th jurisdictions to provide this right. On May 5, the New Orleans City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that provides a right to counsel for all tenants, regardless of income, facing eviction or termination of a housing subsidy, as well as for any proceedings seeking injunctive relief related to an illegal eviction and some appeals. On May 10, the Detroit City Council unanimously enacted an ordinance guaranteeing counsel for tenants facing eviction who are at 200% or below of the federal poverty level. It will also cover mortgage and property tax foreclosures. Congratulations to local advocates, including the Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center and the Detroit Right to Counsel Coalition, who spearheaded the campaigns. The National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel (NCCRC), which we facilitate, lent its assistance and support to the effort.