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Weil and Legal Aid Society Win Preliminary Injunction Preventing New York City from Ending Hotel Rental Assistance to Hurricane Sandy Evacuees

A Weil pro bono team and The Legal Aid Society secured a major win for nearly 400 households displaced by Hurricane Sandy on May 15th, when New York State Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chan granted a preliminary injunction enjoining the City of New York from unilaterally discontinuing a program that provided hotel rental assistance until the household members could locate alternate housing.

Weil and The Legal Aid Society obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the City on April 29th.

In her May 15th decision, Justice Chan ruled that plaintiffs have established a property interest in receiving housing assistance under the City’s program for a period longer than seven months, and “given the additional financial aid for defendants' housing programs coming seven months after the Hotel Program's inception, as forecasted, it can be said that there is a mutual understanding [between the City and the plaintiffs] that it would take more than seven months” to locate and place the households in alternate housing.

Please click here to read Justice Chan’s decision.

The suit, Sapp, et al. v. City of New York, was filed on behalf of 488 city-based households currently receiving hotel rental assistance after being forced from their homes by the October 29, 2012 superstorm. The lawsuit maintains that the City created the hotel rental assistance program to provide shelter “until permanent, safe and sustainable housing” was found for the evacuees, but has failed to provide adequate help in locating alternate housing.

Weil’s pro bono team – partner Konrad Cailteux, associates Isabella Lacayo, Jesse Morris and Emily Pincow, law clerk Chris Lewarne, and paralegals Elizabeth McConville and Kacey Carter – worked alongside The Legal Aid Society’s Josh Goldfein and Judith Goldiner on this matter.

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