Your faucet is leaking, there’s mold in the bathroom, and your landlord is trying to evict you! You head to court to sort things out. Navigating the maze of NYC’s housing courts can be overwhelming, and the stakes are high. Most tenants go to court without a lawyer and have to get through the process on their own. How can you prepare for your day in court, and what steps can you take to successfully resolve your case?

CUP collaborated with the Red Hook Community Justice Center and designer Jenny Kutnow to create a step-by-step guide to housing court for public housing residents in NYC. Rents, Rights, and Repairs untangles the confusing process of housing court by explaining how to get the repairs you need, what to do on your day in court, what to do if you can’t pay the rent, and how to stop an eviction.

The pocket-sized guide launched in September 2013 at a special event at the Red Hook Community Justice Center. The event was attended by community members, policymakers, and other stakeholders in the housing court process.

Get your own copy of the foldout here!

Resources & Links

The Red Hook Community Justice Center is the nation’s first multi-jurisdictional community court, serving Southwest Brooklyn since 2000. The Justice Center seeks to solve neighborhood problems using a coordinated response. 

Jenny Kutnow is an interdisciplinary designer based in NYC. She uses graphic design to elevate architecture and urban design through open discourse and civic engagement.

Public Access Design is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). Public Access Design projects use design to make complex urban issues accessible to the New Yorkers most affected by them. 

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by The Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund.

Special Thanks

Sam Holleran, Jeff Kasper, Karen Gopee (NYS Office of Court Administration), and Chris Watler (Harlem Community Justice Center)


  • CUP
  • Project Leads
  • Clara Amenyo
  • Christine Gaspar
    • The Red Hook Community Justice Center
    • Advocacy Partner
    • Julian Adler
    • Rachel Finkelstein
    • Naureen Rashid
    • Jenny Kutnow
    • Designer


    Public Access Design
    • ArtsFwd
    • April 15, 2014

    Through Public Access Design, CUP has more than doubled the number of community partners it collaborates with in a year, and significantly increased its connections with designers.