Mid-October 2019 “News & Update’ 

Download Mid-October 2019 News and Update   and October Flyers

MVUT Annual Meeting 

At our Annual Meeting three (3) Board members, Deborah Ramsey, Georgia McDowell and Deborah Carter Jenkins, all were re-elected for three (3) year terms. We also reviewed the past year’s program successes – most especially the incredible improvements in the state’s tenant protections with the passing of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019. This legislation is the best thing that has happened for tenants in generations. There will be a public meeting describing the various improvements at the Wartburg on October 22 (see copy of flyer enclosed). We also discussed upcoming campaigns for the next year including MVUT’s role in MOUNT VERNON RISE, a new State Legislative Campaign, Census 2020 and the upcoming County Budget.

 

CENSUS 2020 

This will be a big focus for MVUT over the next seven (7) to eight (8) months. It’s incredibly important that Mt. Vernon makes a big effort to get a “Complete Count” in the census. The U.S. must do a census every ten (10) years. The results of the CENSUS are dramatic. It determines the level of political representation, i.e. how many people represent us in Congress, and even the level of representation in the State Legislature. But maybe even more important is the allocation of federal dollars – $675 Billion. In 2010 Mt. Vernon was victimized by a serious undercount. The 2010 “count was just over 67,000. Most people believe we have well over 80,000 residents, maybe even 90,000! The estimate is that Mt. Vernon lost nearly $400 Million!! Can you imagine what we could have done with that money? MVUT is working with both the Mt. Vernon “Complete Count” Committee and the Westchester “Complete Count” Committee to try to get every Mt.Vernon resident counted. We’ll be sending you information on this on a regular basis – in this mailing we’re sending you two (2) flyers

1) Why We Aşk
2) Westchester New York 2020 Census Jobs 

If you’d like to get involved with the Census 2020 Campaign call the MVUT office at (914) 699-1114. 


Mt. Vernon RISE 

MVUT has been working with Mt. Vernon RISE to improve Mt. Vernon’s code enforcement effectiveness and the quality of life throughout the city. At the last City Council Meeting on October 9, MVUT staff and board members called specifically for four (4) additional code enforcement officers to be hired both by funds received through RISE and with local tax dollars. The three (3) council members in attendance -Acting President Janice Duarte, Marcus Griffith and Lisa Copeland all acknowledged the need for more code enforcement officers. We’ll have to keep up the pressure as we get into the City’s budget process. Tenants should call and write to all of the council members in support of these additions! 


Lead Safe Westchester (LSW) 

Lead in our older buildings poses a serious health threat risk to our community, especially our young (under 6 years of age) children. Westchester County has a significant amount of money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to start to address this ongoing threat. We’re enclosing a two (2) sided flyer describing the process, eligibility and contact information. Reach out to your landlords and encourage them to participate. Do it for our kids! 

 

Westchester County Budget 

MVUT needs Westchester to financially support our progress. Most especially, MVUT provides incredible eviction prevention services (we stop approximately one hundred fifty (150 ) evictions every year). The savings to the County is in the millions of dollars in reduced emergency shelter costs. The benefits to those tenants who avoid eviction are incalculable! We’ll also be asking for the Westchester Board of Legislators (W-BOL) to fund MVUT to do an educational campaign on the new and improved rent laws. While the improvements gained under the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 are incredibly significant, if tenants don’t know about them and how to utilize them, “they’re not worth the paper they’re written on”.  As the only funded and staffed tenants’ association in Westchester, and with over twenty-five thousand (25,000+) tenant households in the county covered by the law. 

MVUT is perfectly positioned to run such a campaign. The first County Budget Hearing will be held in Mt. Vernon at the Doles Center, 250 South 6th Avenue, on Tuesday November 19 at 7:00 P.M. Mark your calendar! We’re asking our members to come to this Hearing in support of increased funding for MVUT, and if they’d like to, to speak in favor of same. We’ll have a flyer for this in an upcoming mailing. Call the MVUT office if you can participate. 

Next MVUT Membership Meeting will be on Monday November 4, at 7:00 PM..   Tuesday November 5 is Election Day and we don’t want to inhibit anyone from voting that day.    The meeting will be held at our office at 2 Gramatan Avenue, Room 312.

 

Upcoming Events: 

Saturday October 19: 

The State of Black Women and Girls in Westchester County (see flyer enclosed on reverse side of the Information on NY State’s New Rent Laws) 

Tuesday October 22: 

Information on New York State New Rent Laws (see above) 

Monday November 4, 7:00 PM 

MVUT General Membership Meeting
2 Gramatan Avenue, Room 312
Mt Vernon, NY  

Tuesday November 5 

Election Day-VOTE! 

Tuesday November 19, 7:00 PM 

W-BOL Public Hearing Doles Center
250 South 6th Avenue
Mt. Vernon, NY   

 

Support Tenants Rights! 

Support Affordable Housing!! 

Support MVUT!!! 

 

Download Mid-October 2019 News and Update   and October Flyers

Mount Vernon “RISE” (Report-Inspect-Service-Enhance) Survey

Download Mt Vernon RISE Survey Form

 

Mount Vernon “RISE” (Report-Inspect-Service-Enhance) 

MVUT has been working with the Mt. Vernon Dept. of Planning and Community Development (MV-PCD) and various organizations and activists on RISE to improve the “Quality of Life” throughout Mount Vernon.

We’re setting up tenant meetings throughout the city and we’re distributing and collecting “Quality of Life Surveys.”

Please fill out the Survey and get it back to MVUT by either dropping it off at our office; mailing it back to us at PO Box 2107, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551; faxing it to us at (914) 699-7449; or emailing it to us at mvut [@] erols.com.

We’re in contract with MV-PCD so it’s important that we collect as many of these “Quality of Life Surveys” as possible.

Thanks for your help! Working together we can all make Mount Vernon a better place to live and work in!! 

Early/Mid July 2019 “News and Update”

EARLY/MIDJULY 2019 NEWS & UPDATE” 

Rent Law Renewal Campaign 

MVUT has been working with numerous New York City tenant associations, and other housing organizations over the last four (4) years to renew and strengthen the state tenant rent and eviction laws. MVUT was the only non-New York City tenants association on the Steering Committee of the Real Rent Reform (R3) campaign. The R3 campaign grew to help form the statewide Housing Justice 4 All (HJ4A) coalition which ultimately pushed the state legislature to pass the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019. This law is the most important state tenant legislation passed since rent stabilization (ETPA) was adopted in 1974. It provided virtually everything that the tenant movement was advocating for. It’s an incredible victory for tenants. HOORAY!!! We’re enclosing a three (3) page “Memo to Members” from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) explaining the improvements in the law. We’re also enclosing a Fundraising Flyer which further explicates the improvements. Please return in the self addressed envelope with a generous contribution. Thank you. 

Westchester Rent Guidelines Board (WRGB) 

In the wake of the huge state legislative victory, the WRGB granted Westchester landlords Guidance increases of 1.75% for one (1) year lease renewals and 2.75% for two (2) year lease renewals. We’re enclosing a July 1, 2019 article from The Journal News explaining this on the reverse side of the third page of the NLIHC “Memo to Members”). These Guidelines apply to any lease renewals that commence between October 1, 2019-September 30, 2020. MVUT’s own, Tamara Stewart, now one (1) of the two (2) tenant representatives on the WRGB did a great job. The landlords were seeking increases of 6% and 12%! They know no shame! 

Thanks Tamara! 

Mount Vernon “RISE” (Report-Inspect-Service-Enhance) 

MVUT has been working with the Mt. Vernon Dept. of Planning and Community Development (MV-PCD) and various organizations and activists on RISE to improve the “Quality of Life” throughout Mount Vernon. We’re setting up tenant meetings throughout the city and we’re distributing and collecting “Quality of Life Surveys” (see enclosed). Please fill out the Survey and get it back to MVUT by either dropping it off at our office; mailing it back to us at PO Box 2107, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551; faxing it to us at (914) 699-7449; or emailing it to us at mvut [@] erols.com. We’re in contract with MV-PCD so it’s important that we collect as many of these “Quality of Life Surveys” as possible. Thanks for your help! Working together we can all make Mount Vernon a better place to live and work in!! 

Please make as generous a contribution as possible and encourage others in your building and neighborhood to do the same. MVUT’s working overtime for you and winning on a number of fronts as evidenced by the above. PLEASE support us NOW !! 

Support Tenants’ Rights! 

Support Affordable Housing!! 

Support MVUT!!! 

 

Tenants Win!   Big Victory!!

Rent-stabilized tenants* scored their BIGGEST win ever in Albany this Spring! The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 granted New York State tenants virtually everything the tenant movement had been pushing for! Some of the incredible improvements:

Extends the state rent and eviction laws and makes them permanent. No more future landlords’ attempts to weaken the laws in “sunset years”!

  • Allows all communities in NYS to “opt-in” to rent stabilization. Presently only the five (5) boroughs in NYC and municipalities in Westchester, Rockland and Nassau are covered!
  • Repeals “Vacancy Decontrol”, the mechanism that allowed landlords to get out of rent stabilization!
  • Repeals the “Vacancy Bonus” of 20% which dramatically raised rents. It was also regularly abused by landlords!
  • Reforms the “Preferential Rent” system, protecting tenants from increases of hundreds of dollars upon lease renewal!
  • Dramatically lowers and limits increases that landlords can receive under Major Capital Improvements (MCIs) and Individual Apartment Improvements (LAIS)!
  • Eliminates the statutory 7.5% Rent Control increases!
  • Numerous other technical/administrative improvements!

*You are rent-stabilized if your building has six (6) or more apartments; was built before January 1, 1974; and is not a federally-assisted building, e.g. all Section 8.

MVUT was a key player in the statewide campaign. MVUT got the Westchester County Board of Legislators (W-BOL) to pass a strong resolution in support of the tenants’ demands. MVUT got ALL of the Westchester State Legislative delegation on board in support of the tenants’ movement demands. As a result – Tenants win BIG!

It’s time for YOU, and all tenants to support MVUT. As a result of the laws, all tenants will be saving hundreds, and probably thousands of dollars over the course of their tenancy! The answer is clear:

SUPPORT MVUT!! 

Detach here and use self-addressed envelope to return.

Yes, I agree, MVUT is helping me and all rent-stabilized tenants. Congratulations on your BIG victory. I am enclosing my donation of:

_$ 50, _ _$75, ___$ 100, ___$ 200 – $500  Other_ __

 

Mt. Vernon United Tenants, Inc.
P. O. Box 2107, Mt. Vernon, N. Y. 10551

Office: 2 Gramatan Avenue Suite 304 Mt. Vernon, N. Y. 10550
Phone (914) 6991114 Fax (914) 6997449
Email: mvut[@] erols.com Website: www.mvut.org

 

Mt Vernon RISE

National Low Income Housing Coalition Memo

Fundraising Flyer

Mid-July 2019 Update