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MEDIA ADVISORY: New Report Calls for Change to New York State Law that Drains the Equity Out of the Homes of Current and Former Public Assistance Recipients

December 16, 2013

For Immediate Release: December 16, 2013               

For More Information Contact:
Kristin Brown Lilley – (518)852-5766


Calls for Change to New York State Law that Drains the Equity Out of the Homes of Current and Former Public Assistance Recipients

WHAT: Release of Empire Justice’s report, “Don’t Lien on Me: How New York’s Public Assistance Mortgages Undermine Homeownership and Financial Stability,” which reviews and challenges the archaic practice of local social services districts placing mortgage liens on the homes of public assistance recipients and calls for an overhaul of the current system to establish accuracy, accountability and transparency within the process.

WHEN: 11:00 A.M., Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WHERE: LCA Press Room, Legislative Office Building, Albany, New York

WHO: Authors of the report, Susan Antos, Kirsten Keefe, Tamara Frazier and Kristin Brown Lilley will be joined by a mother from upstate New York, who will recount how the lien on her home was overcharged tens of thousands of dollars, as a result of haphazard record keeping practices at the local level.  Additionally, the authors will speak to the extent the policy is used across the state (at the county level), the lack of standard record keeping and uncertainty surrounding the accuracy of information as well as difficulty in assessing accuracy.  They will offer proposals to fix the broken system, in an effort to ensure that low income families’ attempts to seek financial stability are not thwarted by the very program they turned to for help when they were in need.

ABOUT EMPIRE JUSTICE CENTER: Empire Justice Center is a statewide public interest law firm with offices in Albany, Rochester, White Plains and Central Islip on Long Island.  Empire Justice Center seeks to change the “systems” that impact poor and low income families.  With a focus on poverty law, Empire Justice undertakes research and training, acts as an informational clearinghouse, and provides litigation backup to local legal services programs and community based organizations.  As an advocacy organization, Empire Justice engages in legislative and administrative advocacy on behalf of those impacted by poverty and discrimination.  As a non-profit law firm, Empire Justice provides legal assistance to those in need and undertakes impact litigation in order to protect and defend the rights of disenfranchised New Yorkers.           



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