Harlem/Uptown Electeds Hold Tenants Rights Press Conference

June 14, 2015

rent law confernceWith rent laws set to expire Monday; Harlem electeds State Senator Adriano Espaillat, the Ranking Member of the Senate’s Housing Committee, Councilman Mark Levine, Co-Chair of the City Council’s Affordable Housing Preservation Task Force, and Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez, held a press conference.

The press conference was to ensure tenants living in rent regulated units know their legal rights, and to prevent landlords from using a potential lapse in the law to take advantage of tenants.

The following information was handed out to tenants and made available on the elected officials’ websites:

  • Rent stabilized tenants are entitled to a minimum of 90 days notice of their right to renew their leases.
  • Tenants who received renewal offers for leases renewing on July 1st, August 1st and September 1st have the right to accept those offers and to be protected by one or two year renewal leases.
  • Only tenants with leases expiring on September 30th  (or later) would be exposed to not getting renewal offers if the Emergency Tenant Protection Act  were to expire on June 15th and their renewal offers were due by June 30th.

If you face any harassment, illegal rent increases, or any eviction attempts you should call one of the following numbers for legal assistance:

Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation’s Housing Legal Services:  (212) 822-8300

The Metropolitan Council on Housing tenants’ rights telephone hotline: 212- 979-0611 ( Open Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:30 – 8:00pm and Fridays from 1:30pm to 5pm)

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The Public Advocate’s Tenant Hotline: 212-669-7250

Division of Housing and Community Renewal toll-free hotline: 844-736-8435

Senator Espaillat’s office will also be coordinating efforts will legal services: 212-544-0173

Senator Espaillat and Council Members Rodríguez and Levine also renewed their call for stronger rent laws so tenants are protected in the future. The elected officials, were joined by Ellen Davidson from the Legal Aid Society, Luis Tejada the Executive Director of the

Mirabal Sisters Cultural and Community Center and scores of tenants.

“Strengthening rent laws must be the top priority in Albany. 2.5 million New Yorkers depend on us to act so they are not under constant threat of losing their homes. The current set of rent laws, passed in 2011, are too weak. Under these laws 35,000 apartments were deregulated and that is simply unacceptable,” said State Senator Adriano Espaillat the Ranking Member of the Senate’s Housing Committee. We must also make sure tenants know their rights, so they are not vulnerable to misinformation from those who could use a potential lapse in the rent laws as an opportunity to con tenants out of their homes.”

Senator Espaillat has 85,279 rent regulated apartments in his district, the most of any state senate district. Over 2.5 million New Yorkers live in over 1 million rent regulated units.

“Our city, in communities in every borough, is losing more affordable housing than we have the resources to build. As communities like ours begin to transform, so too does the fabric of our city.  Now more than ever we must come together with our colleagues in state government and fight for better rent regulations so that our city can combat this housing crisis.” Said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

“If Albany fails to renew the rent laws, they will put countless New York City tenants in a precarious and vulnerable position. A straight extension of the status quo would also be a missed opportunity that would fail to tackle the epidemic of evictions. Now more than ever, we need bold action to strengthen the rent laws for tenants. And at this uncertain time, we must refuse to allow unscrupulous actors who seek to profit by punishing vulnerable tenants, to capitalize on Albany’s inaction,” said Council Member Mark Levine, Co-Chair of the City Council Affordable Housing Preservation Task Force.

“NMIC’s Legal Services Department is ready to work with tenants who are at risk of losing their housing. NMIC is committed to preserving affordable housing and stands with our elected officials in our fight to protect tenants,” said Maria Lizardo, Executive Director of the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation.

The press conference was held in front of building on 141 and Broadway which was without gas for a year.

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