UTICA, N.Y. — Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York (LASMNY) in Utica will use a state grant of $107,000 to help tenants that are facing eviction because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
LASMNY, which is based in Utica, covers an area that includes Oneida, Herkimer, Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, and Otsego counties.
The nonprofit is one of six recipients of the COVID-19 Tenant Legal Assistance Initiative grants, the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Thursday.
The program started earlier this year to support housing during COVID-19, the attorney general’s office noted.
The six grantees will develop and manage regional volunteer-attorney programs across the state to provide support for tenants facing eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to providing legal support, as part of the program, the organizations will work together to identify “systemic” housing issues facing New Yorkers outside of New York City.
The funds for this program come from the national mortgage settlement, and the attorney general’s office is using $742,000 to support one year of the program.
James’ office also selected one grantee to manage an online-resource center with materials and guidance related to tenants’ rights and protections during COVID-19.
Oak Park, Illinois–based Pro Bono Net will develop and manage this resource center, which will also serve as a hub to provide COVID-19-specific training for pro-bono attorneys from the six organizations providing legal support.