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Comptroller Stringer Calls For Changes To Help Non-English Speakers At NYC Housing Court

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A new report finds that New York City's housing court doesn't provide enough assistance to tenants who speak little English.

Comptroller Scott Stringer said in a review released on Monday "justice is hard to find'' for those whose native language is not English.

As 1010 WINS' Kevin Rincon reported, the report found that in Brooklyn, 90 percent of tenants who go to housing court do so without an attorney, which is why it's surprising to Stringer that there's a lack of resources for non-English speaking New Yorkers.

"We've got to ensure that our judicial system is accessible to all New Yorkers, not just those who speak English," Stringer said.

Report: NYC Housing Court Fails To Adequately Help Non-English Speakers

Stringer's team visited housing courts in all five boroughs and found that many of the facilities have signs only in English. Others do not adequately advertise the presence of interpreters.

The comptroller released a letter to the state's unified court system calling for improvements, including new signage and expanding the use of help centers in courts.

Stringer said the improvements would only take "weeks" to implement.

"The truth of the matter is we're not asking for something that is so out of the ordinary. I mean, come up with new signage and then put this in place right now," Stringer told Rincon.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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