Posts belonging to Category Report to Members



Mid-June, 2022 News & Update

It’s been a while since we’ve communicated with our members and friends but rest assured we’ve been busy fighting to keep tenants in their homes and working on improving the laws and regulations governing housing law in Westchester and throughout New York State.

New York State Legislative Session

The New York State Legislature ended this year’s session on Friday June 3rd.  The two (2) main issues we were working on in coalition with other groups both failed to pass this year:

1) Good Cause Eviction
2) Right to Counsel

While this failure is hurtful for tenants, great strides were made nonetheless and we’re quite hopeful going into next year.  Despite not getting our main bills passed, we did see both the State Assembly and Senate pass the Tenant Dignity and Safe Housing Act (A00354B/S04594B.)  We’re currently pushing Governor Hochul to sign the bill into law.

We’re enclosing a copy (2-sided) of a statement from the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition regarding the legislative session.  MVUT will continue educating  and organizing our members, especially in reference to Right to Counsel!

Tenant Rights

We are in the process of scheduling two (2) “Tenants Rights’ Workshops” in Mt. Vernon – one (1) in English and one (1) in Spanish.  We should have a flyer in the next mailing.  On Thursday June 16, Dennis will be making a presentation on “Tenants’ Rights” at Hope Community Center in New Rochelle (see flyer on reverse side of WRGB notice.)

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP )

Our ERAP   processing continues at full speed. Our expert on the subject, Andrew Aguilar, has completed over two hundred and fifty (250+) ERAP applications.  We’ve referred over three hundred (300+) tenants to the ERAP site for specific assistance.  The great, great majority of the tenants we’ve assisted have been able to remain in their apartments!  Yessss!!!

Westchester Rent Guidelines Board (WRGB)

By the time you receive this, the first two (2) WRGB Public Hearings will most likely have concluded.  The third and final Public Hearing is scheduled for Mt. Vernon City Hall on Tuesday, June 21, at 7:30pm.  We’re enclosing a notice for that Public Hearing and two (2) subsequent meetings (Presentation and Rebuttal and Vote meetings) both at 7:00pm in New Rochelle City Hall.

Please try to come to the Mt. Vernon Public Hearing and let the WRGB know that tenants cannot afford any rent increases at this time.  If anything, tenants deserve a rollback!  Tell your neighbors to come as well!

$ for MVUT

We’re enclosing a fund-raising piece describing MVUT’s programs and a self-addressed envelope.  Please make as large a donation as possible to guarantee that MVUT can continue to fight for you and all tenants!

____Yes, you have my support.  Enclosed find my donation of

_____$25     ____$50      ____$100       _____$200       _____$250       _____other

Name: ___________________________________________________________

Address: __________________________________________________________

Telephone/Email: ___________________________________________________

Mailing Attachments:

Attachment #1 – Housing Rights Workshop, WRGB, Right to Counsel Campaign (PDF)

Attachment #2  – Support MVUT (PDF)

 

Mid-February 2022 “News & Update”

HAPPY NEW YEAR! A belated greeting to our members and friends. We haven’t reported to you since before then holidays. We’re still busy though, helping to keep tenants in their homes and preparing for significant challenges into 2022.

ERAP – Emergency Rental Assistance Program MVUT has been extremely busy and successful in utilizing the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to secure back rent assistance for tenants who had had a loss of income or additional expenses as a result of Covid-19. MVUT has helped over three hundred (300+) tenants process ERAP applications. We do not have an exact count of successful ERAP applications but we know that a majority of our clients did receive assistance and were able to remain in their apartments. There have been talk and rumors, etc., that ERAP is finished. IT IS NOT! MVUT is still helping tenants submit applications at this time. However, ERAP could end before long. If you, or anyone you know, could be eligible for ERAP, we encourage you to contact MVUT ASAP. Call Andrew at (914) 699-1114 x 304.

EVICTION MORATORIUM For most of 2021 there was an EVICTION MORATORIUM in effect for tenants who had filled out and submitted a “Financial Hardship Declaration” to the court and/or their landlord. MVUT assisted literally hundreds of tenants in filing such “Declarations.” However the moratorium ended January 15, 2022 despite the pleas of MVUT and the broad tenant movement in recognition of the overwhelming, continuing need. We’re expecting that there will be a huge increase in court proceedings against tenants as a result of the ending of the moratorium. We are prepared to push for the re-instatement of the moratorium should the courts become overwhelmed and more and more tenants become homeless. If that happens we ask that you raise your voice as well. We’ll provide information and guidance as needed.

NEIGHBORHOOD PRESERVATION PROGRAM (NPP) The NPP has been MVUT’s largest funding source for years. However, each year we have to fight for funding for the NPP despite the great work that the 133 Neighborhood Preservation Companies (NPCs) do in their economically distressed communities.

Unfortunately the governor proposed funding for the NPPs at the same amount as last year – $12.8 million. We are asking the legislature to add $1.7 million bringing the total to $14.5 million. This would provide each group with at least $100,000.00. The $12.8 million which has been static for a number of years now actually represents a “cut” via inflation. The housing needs of all our neighborhoods continue to increase – often dramatically. Funding should increase as well! We’re also requesting that our statewide coalition be granted a long-overdue increase in funding from $150,000 to $250,000.

We’re enclosing a copy of the Neighborhood Preservation Coalition of New York State “2022 Legislative Advocacy Agenda”. We’re also enclosing a two-sided flyer describing the Neighborhood Preservation Coalition and tallying some of the impacts of the numerous member “companies.” We’d ask that all of our members and friends reach out to their State Senator and State Assemblyperson and push them t support to the NPC/NYS Legislative Advocacy Agenda both requesting additional funding and their support for two (2) important bills – Right To Counsel (Bills S06678, A 07570) and Good Cause Eviction (Bills S03082, A05573).

For Mt. Vernon tenants your legislators are:

Senator Jamaal Bailey – Room 707 Legislative Office Building Albany, NY 12247 (518) 455-2061, (718) 547-8854 BAILEY@NYSENATE. GOV
Assemblyman Gary Pretlow-Room 845 Legislative Office Building Albany, NY 12248 (518) 455-5291, (914) 667-0127 PRETLOJ@ NYSASSEMBLY.GOV

If you live elsewhere call the League of Women Voters (194) 949-0507 for your Senator and Assemblyperson info. Please make those calls and send letters or emails. If you have questions, call the MVUT office at (914) 699-1114.

We’re also enclosing another two-sided flyer from Westchester County “Help is Available” for back rent and heat and utilities.  As for back rent, most tenants know they can also contact MVUT! Let your neighbors know too.

Support Tenants’ Rights!
Support Affordable Housing!!
Support MVUT!!!

Download MVUT Mid-Feb22 News and Update (PDF)
Download Rent Assistance Flyer (PDF)
Download NPC Fact Sheet (PDF)
Download NPC Legislative Agenda 2022 (PDF)

 

Early November 2021 – News and Update

MVUT Annual Meeting

At our Annual Meeting held on Tuesday October 12, we re-elected two (2) sitting board members to three (3) year terms: Deborah Carter of 300 Gramatan Avenue, and David Locklear of 60 East First Street. A third open seat was not filled and an additional seat became open as a result of Vivian Spady (of New Rochelle) having been hired as a staff person to work on the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). We thus have two (2) vacancies on our board. We’d like to have at least one (1) if not both of those vacancies filled by tenants from the southside as our major state funding source, the Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) requires that a third of our board be residents of the southside, our “Neighborhood” according to the NPP.

As always, we reviewed the many accomplishments of the past year and previewed the upcoming challenges of the New Year. Key on both points is the pandemic and our ERAP efforts.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

MVUT cosponsored two (2) workshops on various housing issues with a primary focus on IERAP: Thursday October 7th at St. Mary’s Church on South High Street in Spanish, and Thursday October 21″1 at Greater Centennial Church on South 8th Avenue in English. The City of Mt. Vernon co-sponsored both events along with Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) , Hudson Valley Justice Center (HVJC), Catholic Charities and the Human Rights Commission of Westchester. The workshops were primarily attended via ZOOM and included tremendous amounts of important and vital tenants’ rights information. We mentioned above that Vivian Spady has come onto the MVUT staff to work on processing ERAP applications. As of October 22 MVUT had already completed three hundred twenty-seven (327) ERAP applications, uploaded documents for an additional two hundred twenty-five (225) clients, and referred a further six hundred sixty-five (665) tenants to the ERAP e-mail and/or Hotline!

We are enclosing a two (2) sided flyer on ERAP with instructions on how to apply and specific contact info on MVUT, LSHV and Catholic Charities. Please share it with your neighbors.

$$ For MVUT

As always we ask that you support MVUT financially to enable us to build on our successes. Especially at this time, around the end of the calendar year, many people are looking to make tax-deductible donations. Maybe you can make such a contribution? Or maybe you know someone who can ? A parent? An aunt or uncle? A friend? A friend of a friend? Any “person of means” could be looking to make a year-end contribution. MVUT is a 501(c)(3) organization and donations from any person are fully tax-deductible under the Internal Revenue Service (lRS) Code! Please put an)’one who may be in a position to make such a contribution in touch with us. We could really use it!!!

We’re enclosing an October 27,2021, Journal News Article on the City of Newburgh, New York, passing a “good cause” eviction law. MVUT is working in coalition with various other organizations on this issue, both locally and statewide, and similarly for a “Right To Counsel” ordinance both county-wide and state-wide. More in an upcoming mailing.

SUPPORT TENANTS’ RIGHTS !
SUPPORT AFFORDABLE HOUSING ! !
SUPPORT MVUT !!!

Download MVUT ERAP Application

Newburgh Passes Good Cause Eviction Law