Posts belonging to Category MVUT In the News

Mid-December 2021 News and Update


As we bring 2021 to a close, we’re hoping everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and will also have a safe, secure and joyous holiday season (Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, New Year’s, etc.)
It’s been a challenging and rewarding year for MVUT. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage our community, impacting all of us in so many hurtful ways. lt’s at times like these that we really need COMMUNITY! MVUT works day-in, day out, to provide that – keeping people in their homes, improving services for tenants and fighting landlord harassment throughout Mount Vernon and all over Westchester County!

A major part of our work all year long has been fighting the pandemic through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). MVUT has successfully submitted hundreds of applications directly for tenants who had either lost income or had additional expenses as a result of Covid 19. In numerous other cases we assisted others in uploading documents or referring tenants to make their own applications directly. We helped countless tenants in filing “Hardship” applications to the court to prevent their court cases from proceeding until after the moratorium ends on Januarv 15.2022. All of these efforts have allowed tenants to maintain some level of normalcy during these terrible times.

We’re enclosing a copy of a November 21, 202 1 Sunday Journal News article “Despite Backlog, N.Y. Ends $2.4 Billion Relief Program” which highlights some of the great work MVUT is doing. The heading is somewhat misleading. We’re still processing ERAP applications as additional New York State funding has been made available and we’re hopeful significant new federal dollars will be as well. Please contact the office if you, or someone you know may need ERAP assistance.

Have you made your tax-free contribution to MVUT?  If not, please do so now. Remember, contributions to MVUT are tax-deductible. We’re enclosing a self addressed return envelope for your convenience.

Thanks and have a great holiday season!!!

We’ll see you in the New Year ! ! !

Download 12-20-21 Journal News Article (PDF)

Download MVUT Dec 2021 News and Update (PDF)

Dennis Hanratty Turns 60!

Dennis Hanratty

Dennis “occupies” Harlem with Hunger Action Network of NY State, 8/26/08.

Dennis Hanratty, executive director of Mount Vernon United Tenants, recently turned 60.  If you see him, wish him a happy birthday.

Budget Cuts Hurt Tenants Group

Budget cuts hurt tenants group
NOVEMBER 29, 2010
The Journal News

Re “Closing two shelters will not harm efforts to help homeless,” Nov. 20 Community View

Karl Bertrand’s above Community View is correct. He is right that the “progressive agenda…is to move away from shelters…by concentrating resources on 1) preventing evictions, and 2) rapidly rehousing people….” However, when he says that the county has achieved homelessness reduction by investing money in eviction prevention, he is wrong! The county has actually significantly reduced eviction prevention efforts. One such glaring example is Mount Vernon United Tenants, one of, if not the most effective eviction prevention agencies in the county. MVUT was recently completely defunded (after being funded for more than 20 years) due to the county’s austerity budget! The small annual grant MVUT received, $55,000 to $ 60,000, helped stop over 150 evictions every year! You can do the math — when it costs $3,000 to $4,000 monthly to shelter people. This is neither smart policy, nor effective use of taxpayer dollars.

Further, the county administration has been withholding $240,000 appropriated by the County Legislature to help stop evictions! The reality is that if you really want to prevent evictions and/or rehouse people, you have to actually invest in these efforts. While we share the goal of the HEARTH Act of having no one remaining homeless for more than 30 days, all government indicators — local, state and federal — are that low to moderate income people are going to pay a disproportionate price into the future. We will probably be seeing an increase in homelessness in Westchester, unless of course, we invest wisely.

Jacqueline Thomas
Mount Vernon

The writer is a member and former board member of Mount Vernon United Tenants.