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Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A

Impact Report 2022

Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A (Brooklyn A) advances social and economic justice and community empowerment through innovative, collaborative, neighborhood-based legal representation and advocacy. Established in 1968 as part of the War on Poverty, Brooklyn A believes attorneys have a critical role to play in combatting poverty, inequity and racism. Our civil legal services, organizing efforts and educational resources assist our clients and communities in defending and mobilizing against harassment, displacement and gentrification and asserting their rights. 

Through legal representation, advice, education and advocacy, Brooklyn A:

  • Prevents evictions and ensures safe and healthy living conditions for tenants and tenant associations
  • Assists taxpayers with federal and state tax issues
  • Challenges predatory lending practices, defends homeowners against foreclosure of their homes and manages bankruptcies and loan modifications
  • Advocates for small businesses in commercial lease matters 
  • Supports community and economic development efforts undertaken by nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations

2022 by the Numbers




New Yorkers served


Families preserved homeownership


Tax issues resolved for low-income households


Cases providing lease and contract assistance serving 694 small businesses


Defended tenants against eviction or unsafe housing conditions


Tenant associations organized and supported


Survivors of domestic violence aided

Who We Serve

Race and Ethnicity



Outreach and Education

In 2022, Brooklyn A staff participated in 58 virtual events reaching approximately 4,300 individuals. Through these events, we educated clients and community partners on rights and options during this time of rapid change and beyond.

Thanks to our partners who helped us provide critical information to the community at a time of major change.

100 Suits for 100 Men
Accompany Capital
Antioch Development Corporation
Arcturus Community Endeavors (ACE)
Asian American Federation
Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development
Benefits Plus Learning Center
Brooklyn Community Board 5
Catholic Charities of NY
Center for NYC Neighborhoods
Church Avenue BID
Churches Alliance
Citizens Bank
Coalition for Community Advancement
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation
Flatbush Avenue BID
Fort Greene Community Fridge
Good Shepherd Services
JASA Legal Services for Elder Justice
Legal Aid Society
LIFE Camp, Inc

Metropolitan Black Bar Association
Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners
New York State Attorney General
NHS Brooklyn
NHS of Jamaica
NHS of Queens
North Brooklyn YMCA
NYC Council Member Crystal Hudson
NYC Council Member Julie Menin
NYC Council Member Lincoln Restler
NYC Council Member Marjorie Velazquez
NYC Council Member Nantasha Williams
NYC Council Member Rita Joseph
NYC Council Member Sandy Nurse
NYC Department of Finance
NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development
NYC Department of Small Business Services
NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants
NYS Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman

NYS Attorney General’s Office
NYS Senator Julia Salazar
NYS Senator Leroy Comrie
NYS Senator Roxanne Persaud
Oneness Pentecostal Church
Queens Protect Our Homes Coalition
Southern Boulevard Merchant Association
St Nicks Alliance
Staten Island Chamber of Commerce
Staten Island Justice Center
TakeRoot Justice
U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries
United for Small Business NYC
University Settlement
Volunteers of Legal Service
Washington Heights & Inwood Development Corporation
Yemeni American Merchants Association

Consumer & Economic Advocacy
Protecting Homeownership

The Consumer & Economic Advocacy (CEA) program represents and advocates on behalf of underrepresented, low-income consumers to protect economic equity and assert their rights in the marketplace. We prevent foreclosures, defend against predatory lending and strive to ensure that vulnerable groups have strong safeguards in place to help them build and maintain assets throughout their financial lives.

“This was my mother’s home, my home, my daughter’s home, and where my grandbaby will grow up.”
Tracey | Jamaica, Queens

Many low-income and BIPOC homeowners in New York City lost income or had unexpected costs because of the pandemic. In 2022, homeowners in New York’s predominately Black neighborhoods were four times as likely to be in mortgage distress than homeowners in the city’s majority-white ZIP codes. The pandemic represents an acute new threat to homeownership in BIPOC communities that already have endured decades of predatory lending and racist practices in housing. Brooklyn A continues our commitment to protecting BIPOC homeownership through legal services as well as education about aggressive scams and deed thefts, and has helped homeowners access funding made available from the federal Homeowner Assistance Program in response to COVID-19.

Consumer & Economic Advocacy
Taxpayer Advocacy

Brooklyn A’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic offers legal services and education to income-eligible taxpayers in tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, and help low-income and “English-as-second-language” taxpayers exercise their rights.

“It was a great relief when it was over…It brings a smile to my face every time I think about Brooklyn A.”
Cecilia & Venantius | Washington Heights, Manhattan

The pandemic has taken an especially painful toll on lower-income communities where many people were already living paycheck to paycheck before the disruption and strain of the past few years. Many of our most vulnerable clients faced the greatest hurdles in securing their federal stimulus checks. The primary mechanism the government uses to send stimulus funding is through tax filing information—which means that New Yorkers who are low-income, homeless, lacking banking services or identification documents, or are survivors of domestic violence face steep challenges in accessing relief. Brooklyn A worked hard to assure taxpayers could access economic stimulus payments and child tax credits made available during the pandemic, and to make sure all clients can access the benefits they deserve.  

Community & Economic Development
Supporting Small Businesses and Neighborhoods

The Community & Economic Development (CED) program provides transactional legal counsel to small businesses and nonprofits that sustain and empower low-income communities throughout New York City. Brooklyn A works in partnership with the city’s Department of Small Business Services to provide legal support through the Commercial Lease Assistance program, which helps businesses in all five boroughs negotiate lease matters and rent arrears to stay open for their communities. 

“When I thought about starting a business, I had to do something that felt good, and also something that was going to serve my community. Running my business has been incredibly overwhelming but what has kept me going is that I cannot go to the store, I cannot go to the supermarket, I cannot take my kid to the park without having somebody in my community tell me how meaningful this place is to them.”
Yosara | South Bronx, The Bronx

In the first two years of the pandemic, at least 26,000 businesses closed in New York City. Most were very small businesses with fewer than 10 employees, and Black-owned businesses were twice as likely to close. In addition to addressing business needs related to lease negotiations and decisions, Brooklyn A helped more than 100 businesses access pandemic-related grant assistance and use those funds to resolve rent arrears and other debts that resulted from business losses are a result of the pandemic, achieving relief of more than $4.2 M in rent arrears for New York City small businesses. 

Preserving Affordable Housing
Tenant Support and Organizing

The Preserving Affordable Housing (PAH) program uses legal and advocacy strategies to preserve and protect affordable housing, prevent evictions, combat tenant harassment and discrimination, and ensure tenants have access to safe and sanitary housing.

“She took in everybody to make sure they had a shelter over their head, and cared and felt for them,” Dana said of her aunt. “I think that’s what she left in me.”
Dana | Flatbush, Brooklyn

BIPOC communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 illness and many New York City residents lost income from pandemic shutdowns and business closures, making rent payments a hardship for many. Brooklyn A attorneys assisted clients with rental arrears to apply for support from the pandemic Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Since the pandemic moratorium on residential evictions expired in early 2022, the demand for our eviction prevention services is higher than ever. 

FY2022 Financial Summary

Where Our Money Goes

Revenue and Support

Government Contracts & Grants




Special Events


Program Fees


Other Income


Total Revenue and Support



Program Services




Total Expenses


Change in Net Assets


Government Contracts & Grants


Program Services

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