ECBAWM Files Suit on Behalf of the New York City Council Against Mayor Eric Adams for Failing to Implement New Rental Voucher Laws

  • February 21, 2024

On February 21, 2024, ECBAWM filed a motion on behalf of the New York City Council to intervene in a lawsuit brought by the Legal Aid Society challenging Mayor Eric Adams’s unlawful failure to implement crucial laws expanding access to lifesaving housing assistance. In response to the ongoing homelessness crisis in New York City, the City Council passed legislation over the Mayor’s veto in July 2023, expanding eligibility for the City’s Fighting Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement program (“CityFHEPS”), a housing voucher program. These laws bring needed reforms to the CityFHEPS program: they expand eligibility for assistance to more New Yorkers in need and eliminate outdated bureaucratic obstacles that kept individuals from accessing housing vouchers. Mayor Adams has refused to implement the new laws, despite the fact that they were passed by a supermajority of the Council and formally went into effect on January 9, 2024. The Council’s lawsuit, a hybrid Article 78 and plenary proceeding, alleges that Mayor Adams has unlawfully abdicated his responsibility as the City’s chief executive to implement these duly passed laws and seeks a court order compelling the Adams Administration to implement these reforms to the CityFHEPS program.

This case, Council v. Mayor, is the most recent in a line of cases in which the firm has represented constituent branches of City government in separation-of-powers disputes under the City Charter.  ECBAWM represented the Council in cases against Mayors Bloomberg and de Blasio, and against the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York, and it represented the Public Advocate against the Police Commissioner, a mayoral appointee.

ECBAWM attorneys Andrew G. Celli, Jr., Diane L. Houk, and Laura Kokotailo represent the City Council, and Toby Shore is the paralegal.

“Mayor Adams Is Sued Over Failure to Comply With New Housing Laws,” NY Times