For the first time in its 50-year history, the pioneering anti-poverty organization Mobilization for Justice (formerly MFY Legal Services) will launch an office in the Bronx to serve Bronx tenants facing eviction in Housing Court. When Argus Community, Inc. took over BOOM!Health in late June, it decided to downsize and give up a $3.4 million contract from the city’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) to provide legal assistance to Bronx tenants in Housing Court, leaving the program and the staff without a home. Mobilization for Justice agreed to rescue BOOM’s contract with HRA under the Universal Access to Housing Court program and assume its 20-person legal staff.
“Mobilization for Justice has been fighting the effects of poverty throughout the city for over 50 years, including serving Bronx residents in a host of civil legal matters,” said Jeanette Zelhof, Mobilization for Justice’s Executive Director. “We serve Bronx tenants at several legal clinics in the Bronx and at hubs where poor people seek social services, and are thrilled for this opportunity to establish an office in the Bronx, the poorest borough in NYC, indeed one of the poorest areas in the country.”
“The Bronx has the highest eviction rate in the city and tenants desperately need legal help,” said Rick Kahn, Managing Attorney of Mobilization’s new Bronx office (formerly Vice President at BOOM!Health and head of its legal department). “We have worked closely with Mobilization in the Universal Access to Housing Court program and are honored to become part of this storied organization and its expansion to the Bronx, especially at this time when poor people are struggling to meet their essentials of life more than ever.”