Mid-March 2019 News and Update

Mount Vernon United Tenants (MVUT) remains busy on a wide variety of fronts!

Download Mid-March News and Update (PDF)

Code Enforcement and Quality of Life

This past Tuesday, March 19, a number of MVUT Board Members attended a special meeting organized by the Citys Dept. of Planning & Community Development (PCD) on Code Enforcementand Quality of Life. PCD is going to contract with MVUT on various aspects of this campaign. This is a long overdue project. We have an aging housing stock and much of it is being overutilized. We have to insure the safety and integrity of our housing, while at the same time protecting tenants who may live in substandard housing.

New York State Neighborhood Preservation Coalition (NYS/NPC)

Once again, MVUT organized the Westchester bus for the six (6) groups that get state funding under the Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP). We had a very successful Lobby Day on March 6, meeting with representatives of all of the Westchester delegation, all of whom were supportive. As proof of our effectiveness, both the State Senate and Assembly included increased funding in their respective one (1) House Bills.

People should call and/or write the Legislators and thank them for their support, and tell them to maintain that commitment through the end of the budget season (April). Tell them the NPP is too valuable a program to be whittled away or undermined in late budget deals with the GovernorFULL FUNDING FOR NPP!   To find the legislator that represents you, visit:  www.nyassembly.gov and www.nysenate.gov

Disability Advisory Board

Our neighbors with disabilities face a number of issues including a lack of services, inaccessible buildings and streets, and of course; the lack of accessible, truly affordable housing. Mount Vernon United Tenants has proudly joined Westchester Disabled On The Move in supporting and aiding The Mount Vernon Disability Advisory Board Committee. The Committee is a dedicated group of Mount Vernon residents with disabilities working towards the creation of an official city Disability Advisory Board. Such a board would advise the city on innovative ways to address these issues from the perspective of those who directly experience them. To learn more about the groups vision and how to support them please contact member Ansel Lurio  at aw12011 [at] gmail.com or (646) 5221115.

Statewide “Source of Income” NonDiscrimination Ordinance

MVUT will be participating in a statewide conference call under the rubric #BanIncomeBiasNY on Thursday March 19. Well have further news in the next mailing (out late next week).

Westchester Social Justice Forum

This coming Sunday March 24 WESPAC (www.WESPAC.org) and a number of other organizations are holding their annual Westchester Social Justice Forum at 12:30 pm in the Music Building at SUNY Purchase. MVUT will be participating. In addition to exciting workshops, Amy Goodman of WBAI radio (99.5 FM) will be the featured speaker. Amy, in the view of many, is the premier journalist in America. She will be highly engaging, informative and challenging.

Housing Seminars

County Legislator, Damon Maher is sponsoring two (2) Housing Seminars at the New Rochelle Public Library, primarily dealing with Fair and Affordable Housingissues. The first one was held during daytime hours on March 13. The second one is scheduled for Tuesday March 26 at 6:00 pm.

Right To CounselDennis and an attorney from Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) will be going down to NYC for a meeting with NYC activists who worked on the campaign to get the City to adopt the Right to Counselconcept on Thursday March 28. While the Westchester campaign is in its early stages, it is important for us to find out what has worked elsewhere, and how we can best design our campaign and plan future actions,

State of CountyAddress The annual address by the County Executive detailing what has been going on for the last year and what we should be looking at into the upcoming year, will be held on Thursday April 11 at 7:00 pm in the Legislative Chambers on the 8th Floor of the County Office Building at 148 Martine Avenue (corner of Court Street) in White Plains.

The relatively new County Executive George Latimer is a longtime friend of MVUT. He came to this past years Holiday Gatheringand while a legislator, came to numerous MVUT office meetings. He is a former tenant leader in Mount Vernon, and professionally ran the Mt. Vernon Section 8 Program years ago!

In addition to all of this issue work, still by far the major amount of time and energy of MVUT is spent on case management of tenants at riskof eviction. Well have a report on the numbers of evictions prevented, and families or individuals rehoused in the next couple of mailings. Stay tuned.

Please help us financially as we are in bad shape!!

Many have answered the call. Most have not. Please do so today.

*Were enclosing an article, Capital Improvements are A Nightmare For Tenants by tenant activist Anita Long which highlights a way that landlords further victimize rent regulated tenants!

Support Tenants’ Rights!

Support Affordable Housing!!

Support MVUT!!!

Download Mid-March News and Update (PDF)


SATURDAY, March 9 >> Fair & Affordable Housing Expo 2019 in White Plains

Fair & Affordable Housing Expo 2019
Saturday, March 9 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
FREE Admission

Westchester County Center
198 Central Avenue
White Plains, NY 10606
Can you own your own home? Find out by meeting with:
 Lenders who can describe available loans
 Realtors with the most affordable listings
 Not‐for‐profit counselors to guide you through the homeownership process
Get answers to important questions:
 How much do I need for a down payment?
 What are my rights with respect to fair housing and fair lending?
 What is the importance of credit and a credit score?
 What is the role of the not‐for‐profit counselor, realtor, inspector, aƩorney and lender?
 Can I get help with my down‐payment and closing costs?
 How do student loans affect my ability to own?
 Where are affordable homeownership opportunities
Housing Expo participants can attend seminars as well as meet with counselors, realtors, lenders, and other professionals throughout the day.
Featured Workshops:
11:45 a.m. Resources for Downpayment, Closing costs & Property Improvements
1 p.m. Fair & Affordable Housing
 How to navigate “Homeseeker Online”
The Application and Selection Process
Fair and Affordable Homeownership & Rental Opportunities Now Available
2 p.m. Rental Housing
This workshop is your chance to meet with not‐for‐profit counselors
who will advise and guide you through the process of finding fair and
affordable rental housing opportunities.
For more information contact:
Housing Action Council: 914-332-4144 | hac@affordablehomes.org
Westchester Residential Opportunities: 914-428-4507 x 306 | mzarfes@wroinc.org

Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP Lobby Day) – Wednesday March 6

Dear MVUT friends and members.
As always, MVUT is organizing the Westchester bus to Albany for the annual NPP Lobby Day on March 6. We want as many Mt. Vernon tenants to join us on this important trip.
The NPP is MVUT’s largest funding source and it is essential that the State Legislators see us in Albany demanding increased funding for MVUT and the other five (5) Neighborhood Preservation Companies (NPCs) who receive State NPP funding.
There’s a lot of new legislators this year and it’s important that we educate them about the great work MVUT does. You are our best ambassadors communicating that message to the Legislators.
So please “Get On The Bus”. Round trip bus fare is $ 25.00. If you can’t afford the fare, we’ll get a scholarship for you. Similarly, if you can’t go, please sponsor one (!), two (2) or more who cannot afford the fee.
For more info, call the MVUT Office at (914) 699-1114.