Day of action: Coalition of New York housing advocates push for reforms to help tenants in distress

All through 4 cities throughout New York State, a coalition of housing activists gathered for a day of motion Tuesday, launching their #HouseNY 2022 NYS legislative marketing campaign.

Over the previous 17 months, the financial strife induced by the COVID-19 pandemic pushed New York State’s housing disaster over the sting, exacerbating disparities and insecurities in communities. Quick-term fixes just like the eviction moratorium and emergency rental help packages helped for a quick interval, however housing rights advocates say it was a Band-Assist response that has left tenants weak to landlord harassment, unfair rental will increase, and, doubtlessly, homelessness.

On Tuesday, activists, civil authorized providers organizations, and elected officers gathered collectively in New York Metropolis, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo to launch the #HouseNY 2022 legislative marketing campaign, which is a five-year housing plan that makes actual, long-term authorized modifications to shield towards eviction.

Activists known as for the governor to enact legislative protections for tenants. Spencer Gallop/The Authorized Assist Society

“Our clients and all New Yorkers deserve these common-sense legislative solutions to the ongoing economic devastation from the pandemic,” stated Judith Goldiner, Legal professional-in-Cost of the Civil Regulation Reform Unit at The Authorized Assist Society. “With the statewide moratorium likely set to expire in January, we are facing a tidal wave of evictions, which could leave countless vulnerable tenants at risk of losing their homes and exacerbate the public health and homelessness crisis. Albany must act now to keep New Yorkers safely housed in their homes.”

In New York Metropolis—at 20 Hudson Yards—elected officers akin to state Senators Brian Kavanagh, Robert Jackson and Mike Gianaris, and others joined housing rights leaders and tenants to name upon Governor Kathy Hochul to enact Good Trigger Eviction, Repeal of 421-a, Housing Entry Voucher Program (HAVP), Tenant Alternative to Buy Act (TOPA), and an expanded Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act (HONDA).

“Evictions are violence! We can’t talk about public safety without talking about the housing crisis.  A 50% rent increase is slow-moving violence. If we are serious about public safety, we must be serious about ending the housing crisis,” Queens Meeting Member Zohran Mamdani stated on the New York Metropolis rally.

A number of tenants spoke out towards their landlords who they are saying have taken benefit of them throughout this troublesome time.

Carlos Junca, a member of Make the Highway NY,  shared that due to flooding from Hurricane Ida’s remnants in September, his landlord is pushing him after demanding a $1,000 rental improve in Woodside condo. He believes his landlord is capitalizing on the pure catastrophe to renovate and hire out the condo at the next price.

Meeting member Zohran Mamdani. Spencer Gallop/The Authorized Assist Society

“For six years, I rented a semi-basement in a two-family house in Queens. Although the pandemic brought us a very difficult situation, and I struggled to keep up with my rent payments, I have been paying with all the savings I had, and trying to find any job to continue paying. Although I have paid and been a good tenant, I find myself being displaced and without protections and the Hurricane was an opportunity to get me out,” Junca stated. “As COVID is settling and more people want to rent in the city, landlords are taking advantage of opportunities to rent to people who can pay more. This is unfair! I stayed here in NY during the pandemic and paid my rent and now they take me out of my home to charge more.”

Hochul’s workplace famous that the governor has, since coming into workplace in August, pushed for larger housing rights, together with working with the state legislature to prolong the eviction moratorium by means of January 2022.

“Governor Hochul has taken bold action to protect tenants, from calling a special session of the legislature to extend the eviction moratorium, to allocating $25 million for free tenant legal services across the State, to breaking the Emergency Rental Assistance Program logjam – bringing New York from the back of the pack to the front among all states by committing more than $2.2 billion to help tenants in need. The Governor is firmly committed to helping New Yorkers stay in their homes and will carefully review all legislation that reaches her desk,” stated Avi Small, a spokesperson for the governor. 

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