Where Brooklyn Tenants Plead the Case for Keeping Their Homes

Outside, shuddering in the cold, they waited. For regulars, the ones flung repeatedly into this quizzical place, they knew it was going to be a long, sour wait, for the line looped back and wiggled around the corner and touched the Lane Bryant store. The Lane Bryant store usually meant upward of an hour’s wait.

This was the line to get into 141 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn, premises of Brooklyn Housing Court. Its business is deciding whether to evict people. It was this way in rain and howling wind and snow. Under the gray slab that was the sky, a gangly man slid down the line, barking out his spiel, offering cards for a free program to pay moving expenses, modest consolation if things went badly inside.

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