Articles from March 2023


Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP)

We reported in the last mailing that the federally funded Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) ended as of January 20, 2023. The ERAP provided essential funding for families and individuals that had either lost income or had additional expenses as a result of Covid-19. This was a real “Life Saver” nationwide for those who were successful in their ERAP application. MVUT assisted 460 tenants in filing ERAP applications and as far as we know they were all successful! That’s 460 evictions prevented! WOW!! And a special shout-out to Andrew Aguilar from our office who processed almost all of the applications. Great Job Andrew!

Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP)

The NPP is MVUT’s largest single source of funding. The funding for the statewide program has been relatively flat for the last eight (8) years. We all know how inflation affects our budgets and this is just as true for government funding. The Statewide Coalition of Neighborhood Preservation Companies (of which MVUT is one of approximately one hundred forty (140) housing groups) organizes an annual “Affordable Housing” Lobby Day.

This year it was Monday, February 13, and as MVUT has done for years, we organized a bus to Albany for the six (6) groups in Westchester who get funding under the NPP: the statewide coalition’s message was that “Flat Funding A Cut in Funding.” Dennis sits on the Statewide Coalition’s Board of Directors and serves as its Legislative Committee Chair.

The Legislative Committee and the full board adopted a call to raise the statewide amount of the NPP from $12.8 Million to $17.75 Million. This would bring all groups up from the low $90 Thousands/each up to $125,000! It is well-earned and deserved. On every Lobby Day the Coalition organizes a rally in “the Well” of the Legislative Office Building (LOB). Dennis presented our Legislative Agenda and Michael Rose of 60 West First Street, Mt. Vernon, also spoke to the assembled group of NPCs from throughout the state.

The Chair of the Senate Housing Committee, Brian Kavanagh (518-455-2625 or 718- 875-1917) and Linda Rosenthal (518-455-5802 or 212-873-6368) the Chair for the Assembly Housing Committee both spoke at the rally and both said that they would push for the Coalition’s request of $17.75 Million!

We’d ask that people write or call both Chairs and thank them for their support. We’d also ask that you call and/or write to the State Legislators who represent Mt. Vernon, Jamaal Bailey in the State Senate and J. Gary Pretlow in the State Assembly (mailing addresses are below.) The message: Support $17.75 Million for the Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP)! if you’re a tenant outside of Mt. Vernon and do not know who your state legislators are, call the MVUT office at (914) 699-1114.

Right to Counsel (RTC)

MVUT has been a key player in the statewide campaign to get a Right to Counsel bill passed by the state legislature. The Bill S2721/A1493 is being sponsored by Rachel May in the Senate and Latoya Joyner in the Assembly.

There have been actions on the campaign already and a number of rallies, etc. are planned in the weeks ahead. A few from Mt. Vernon participated in a rally and vigil in Mamaroneck on Thursday March 16 and we’re encouraging tenants to join us next Friday March 24 in Yonkers for a rally and “Court Watch.” We’re enclosing a flyer for the Yonkers action. Call the MVUT office for further info and if you’d like to participate in the Yonkers action

Tenants’ Rights = Tenants’ Power !!

Brian Kavanagh 518-455-2625 or 718-875-1917 Legislative Office Bldg Rm 512 Albany, NY 12247
J. Gary Pretlow 518-455-5291 or 914-667-0127 Legislative Office Bldg Rm 845 Albany, NY 11248
Linda Rosenthal 518-455-5802, 212-873-6368 Legislative Office Bldg Rm 844 Albany, NY 12248
Jamaal Bailey 518-455-2061 or 718-597-8854 Legislative Office Bldg Rm 609 Albany, NY 12247


Friday, March 24th at 10am 10am: Rally @ 100 South Broadway 10:45am: Court Tour & Observation
RSVP to learn more about the week of action:

Download Yonkers Rally and Court Watch Flyer

Introducing Legal Hand Call-In Center serving Westchester County

Legal Hand has arrived in Westchester County! Based on our powerful model of neighbors helping neighbors, our highly trained volunteers, who are not lawyers, provide free legal information, assistance and referrals for serious life issues in the areas of: Housing, Immigration, Family Issues, Domestic Violence, Elderly Rights, Employment, Public Benefits and many other challenges.
And our Call-In volunteers are ready to help and easy to reach. There are no eligibility requirements and everyone is welcome!

Call or Text: 914-425-5483
Email: Westchesterhelp [@]

We are open weekdays, evenings and Saturdays
For hours, visit:

Legal Hand Call-In Center serving Westchester County, operated by the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University

Download Legal Hand Flyer

Download NY Project Hope Flyer

Download Mid-March News and Update mailing (PDF)