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Early October 2021 – News and Update

EARLY-OCTOBER, 2021 – “NEWS & UPDATE”|

We normally hold our Annual Meeting on the first Tuesday of October. However, due to various scheduling difficulties, we’ve had to reschedule it for the following Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 7:00pm. We’ve attached a notice for the Annual Meeting on the reverse side of this. Please come to the Annual Meeting and support MVUT. We’re involved in so many pro-tenant campaigns, we need everyone’s help – active and financial. Call with any questions (914) 699-1114.

At our Annual Meeting, we will be electing three (3) members to our Board of Directors. MVUT has a nine (9) meinber Board and three (3) seats come up for election every year. Members serve a three (3) year term. All paid members of MVUT are eligible to vote.  If you are interested in serving on our Board give Dennis Hanratty, the Executive Director a call at (914) 699-1114, ext. 303.

We will review lots of exciting news:

  • Eviction Prevention successes
  • Building Organizing news
  • Updates on Policy Campaigns
  • And begin making plans for the upcoming year’s Campaigns.

Come to the Annual Meeting! Get involved in one (1) or more of the important issues/campaigns listed above! Help us win more victories and become even stronger!

Two (2) Upcoming “Tenants Rights Workshops”

MVUT, along with the City of Mt. Vernon, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) and Catholic Charities of Westchester are sponsoring two (2) “Know Your Rights and Get Help” Workshops – one (1) in Spanish (October 7) and one (1) in English (October 14.) We’re enclosing a two-sided flyer with information on both workshops. Tenants can attend in person or remotely. As the flyer states – “Get Connected, Get Involved, Get Results”.

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

Quality of Life is important. Together, we can make a difference, OPERATION BETTER LIVING

Mount Vernon Renters: Worried about eviction? Living in substandard housing? No heat or hot water in your unit? Mold, infestation, or unsanitary conditions in your bullding? Harassment problems with your landlord?

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND GET HELP!

The City of Mount Vernon, in coordination with Mount Vernon: United Tenants, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley and Catholic Charities of Westchester presents a Zoom and in-Person workshop on the Mount Vernon Tenant Bill of Rights and tenant assistance programs to help renters pay bills, fight eviction actions, and avoid homelessness, All renters have rights to live in a safe and clean apartment, regardless of where you live or what your citizenship status is.

En Espanol

SPANISH WORKSHOP – THURSDAY OCT. 7TH @ 6 PM
In person: Church of St. Mary and Our Lady of Mount Carmel
23 S. High St, Mount Vernon-OR WATCH REMOTELY VIA ZOOM

Regístrese para el taller Conozca sus derechos (en inglés, en persona oa través de Zoom, 7 de octubre de 2021)

La ciudad de Mount Vernon, en coordinación con Mount Vernon United Tenants, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley y Catholic Charities of Westchester presenta un taller Zoom y en persona sobre la Declaración de derechos de inquilinos de Mount Vernon y programas de asistencia de área para ayudar a los inquilinos a pagar las facturas. , luchar contra las acciones de desalojo y evitar la falta de vivienda. Ingrese su información a continuación para inscribirse en el taller e indique si le gustaría asistir en persona a Iglesia de Santa María y Nuestra Señora del Monte Carmelo (312 S. 8th Ave, Mount Vernon 10550) o reciba el enlace Zoom para asistir y se le enviará uno por correo electrónico. La sesión en persona cumplirá con todas las pautas locales de detección de COVID y distanciamiento social. TODA LA INFORMACIÓN INGRESADA PERMANECERÁ CONFIDENCIAL

Zoom Link: https://uso.web.zoom.us/i/810774152747owd=WTIKTFFHMBImSTBjaWJGLzVWSIZSQT09 on Facebook.com/mountvernonny
Webinar ID; 810 7741 5274 Passcode: 344348 Telephone: 1-929-436-2866

Regístrese para el taller Conozca sus derechos

In English Only
ENGLISH WORKSHOP – THURSDAY OCT. 14TH @ 6 PM
In Person: Greater Centennial AME Zion Church
312 S 8th Avenue, Mount Vernon – Or Watch Remotely via Zoom

Register for October 14 Know Your Rights Workshop (in English, in person or via Zoom, October 14th, 2021)
The City of Mount Vernon, in coordination with Mount Vernon United Tenants, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley and Catholic Charities of Westchester presents a Zoom and In-Person workshop on the Mount Vernon Tenant Bill of Rights and area assistance programs to help renters pay bills, fight eviction actions, and avoid homelessness. Please enter your information below to get signed up for the workshop and indicate if you would like to attend in person at Greater Centennial A.M.E. Zion Church (312 S. 8th Ave, Mount Vernon NY 10550) or receive the Zoom link to attend and one will be emailed to you. The in person session will comply with all local COVID screening and social distancing guidelines. ALL INFORMATION ENTERED WILL REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL.  Register for October 14 Know Your Rights Workshop
Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/i/81077415274?pwd=WTIKTFFhM3ImSTBfAWIGLZVWS1ZSQT09 on Facebook.com/mountvernonny
Webinar ID: 810 7741 5274 Passcode: 344348 Telephone: 1-929-436-2866Attend this workshop to learn how to:Report housing code violations (like no heat or hot water) on the CMVNY CONNECT app
Work with city building inspectors to have your apartment brought up to fair housing standards
Advocate collectively with your building for better conditions
Get legal support if you are brought to housing court
Protect yourself against harassment or retašation from your landlord
Access case management help for applying for temporary or permanent housing
Qualify for financial assistance to stay in your home

For more INFORMATION, contact:

Mount Vernon United Tenants www.MVUT.org 914-699-1114
Legal Services of the Hudson Valley: www.lshv.org | 877-574-8529
Catholic Charities (Westchester) www.catholiccharitiesny.org | 914-476-2700

Help Us Raise Funds to Improve Even More!!

Yes. I agree MVUT is doinq great work for tenants. I want to help them do even more! Enclosed find my contribution of:

$25 $50 $100 $200 $500 other

Name:

Address:

Telephone:

Email:

Please make checks payable to MVUT and mail to MVUT at P.O. Box 2107, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551  or bring to the office at 2 Gramatan Ave. Suite 304.

Thank you!

 

Mid-September 2021 – “News & Update”

(ERAP)
MVUT has been busy assisting tenants in filing Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) applications for rental arrears if they had their income reduced as a result of Covid-19. We have assisted over one hundred thirty (130) tenants already and referred dozens and dozens of others to do so themselves. Tenants can and should process applications themselves if they have the ability to do so. They can go to the ERAP website: nyhsrenthelp.otda.ny.gov and/or call 1-844-591-7358.  This Saturday from 1o:00am to 1:00pm there will be two (2) meetings to help tenants as well. We’re enclosing flyers in English and in Spanish which lists the sites.

Just last week we started to get confirmation of approval of some of the applications we worked on. The amounts of the awards to pay back rent in the first three (3) cases we learned about are astounding – $33,666.52, $21,600.00, and $15,500.00!!!!  A special shout-out to our new staff member Andrew Aguilar who worked on all of these cases !

Mt. Vernon Hospital
This Friday, September 17,2021, there will be a rally in support of keeping Mt. Vernon Hospital open as a fully operational hospital. Please come out and support this vital community institution! (See reverse side.)

MVUT ANNUAL MEETING
On Tuesday October 5, 2021, MVUT will hold our Annual Meeting at 7:00pm.  At our Annual Meeting we review this past year’s efforts, and lay out preliminary plans for the upcoming year. We will also elect three (3) board members who will serve a staggered three (3) year board term. If you or someone you know would like to run for the board, call the office at (914) 699-1114 X 303. Candidates must be current in their MVUT dues.

$$$
(Speaking of dues (and additional donations), please consider making a contribution. In our last mailing, we included an appeal for funds with a list of the numerous successful campaigns that MVUT has been involved with. These campaigns help ALL tenants. Please help us to continue our work by making a significant contribution.

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

Download Mid-September News & Update (PDF)

Download ERAP Fair Flyer (PDF)

211 Hudson Valley ERAP Help

Mid-August 2021 “News and Update”

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

In our last two (2) mailings we’ve described how MVUT is one of eleven (11) agencies within Westchester County processing ERAP applications. ERAP funds are federal dollars that are being administered by the New York state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (NYS- OTDA). While tenants can call the MVUT office AT (914) 699-111 4 X304 for an appointment to do applications, they can also do their own application by going to the ERAP website nysrenthelp.otda.ny.gov, or by calling (1-) 844-691-7368. They can also call 211 for assistance.  On Saturday, July 31, MVUT co-sponsored a three (3)-hour outreach event on ERAP at the Mt. Vernon Public Library with the United Way of Westchester and the Mt. Vernon Department of Planning. As a result of this event there has been an increased response in tenants’ reaching out to various agencies to seek help!

By the time you receive this, MVUT will have already submitted over one hundred (100+) applications and helped dozens of others upload various documents in processing their own applications, and referred well over a hundred others to the ERAP website. We enclosed a “fact sheet” in our last mailing describing the necessary documents to be included in applications and we’ll provide more to people if they need them – just call the office to request them. MVUT Board Member Vivian Spady has temporarily given up her Board seat and will come on as staff to help process ERAP applications.

Right to Counsel 

MVUT has been a key player in the Westchester County Right to Counsel Coalition (R2C). Westchester County has allocated funds to do a study on the cost of Westchester’s providing a Right to Counsel for income-eligible tenants in eviction proceedings in local courts. There’s an ugly imbalance of power in most landlord/tenant court cases with very, very few tenants being represented by an attorney, while virtually all of the landlords are. This often results in tenants being evicted when they very well might have been able to remain in their homes. We’re enclosing a packet from the R2C coalition describing the value of a Right to Counsel Program and asking you to call, write, and/or email the County Executive George Latimer, asking him to carry out this feasibility study. We’re having a “Week of Action” from Monday, August 16 to Friday August 20. Please take action during that weekl  We’re also asking you to contact the County legislators as well. For Mt. Vernon Tenants, your legislator is Tyrae Woodson-Samuels (914) 995-2837. If you live elsewhere, call the Board of Legislators office at (914) 995-2800 to find out your legislator. There are models of letters and calls as part of the packet. Please call and writel!! Ask your friends and neighbors to do likewise.

Building Organizing

MVUT is beginning to work with some building tenants’ associations:

  • 47 Oak Street (processing a State building-wide Rent Reduction, Complaint Re: No “Live-in” super)
  • 29 South Second Avenue (organizing the tenants who have not had gas for months)
  • 20 Water Grant Street, Yonkers (assisted the tenants in this new un-regulated building in forming a Tenant Association.  They’ve elected officers and already met with their City Council Representative!)

$ for MVUT 

We’re enclosing a new fund-raising flyer we’ve just prepared. Look at all of the great things MVUT has been involved in and the successes we’ve helped produce for tenants!  We’d ask that you, our members and friends, either copy and distribute this to the tenants in your building, or call MVUT and we’ll provide you with bulk copies. Please help!

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

Download Mid-August 2021 News and Update (PDF)

FUNDRAISING FLYER

THE HOT DAYS OF SUMMER ARE HERE AND THE

PANDEMIC WE’VE ALL BEEN LIVING THROUGH IS

SEEMINGLY COMING TO AN END. HOORAY! STILL

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!

MVUT has been busy delivering for you and all tenants:

ERAP – MVUT is assisting tenants in filing applications for rent arrears under the Emerqency Rental Assistance Program if they’ve either lost income or had additional expenses as a result of Covid-19. We’ve processed over fifty (50+) applications, uploaded documents for dozens of others, and referred over one hundred (100+) to the ERAP website – nysrenthelp@otda.ny.qov or telephone 1-844-691-7368

CODE ENFORCEMENTMVUT has always pushed the city of Mt. Vernon to strengthen its code enforcement process to protect tenants’ apartments.  Our advocacy has borne fruit as the City has hired three (3) more code enforcement inspectors and will be hiring two (2) more! YES!!

HISPANIC OUTREACH – Through a grant with the city, we’ve been able to hire a Spanish-speaking tenant organizer, Andrew Aguilar, to help MVUT provide its services to the Spanish-speaking tenants who have been regularly abused by the system!

WESTCHESTER RENT GUIDELINES BOARD (WBGB) – The WRGB passed new rent adjustments for leases beginning between 10/1/21  9/30/22. They are .5% for one (1) year renewals, and 1% for two (2) year renewals. Thanks to WRGB Tenant Member and MVUT member Tamara Stewart for her strong advocacy on the Board and to the many MVUT members who testified at the Public Hearings!

SCRIE/DRIEMVUT continues to help tenants who live in rent-regulated buildings to apply for both the Senior and Disabled Rent lncrease Exemption Programs whereby their rents can be frozen.

BUILDING ORGANIZING– With the pandemic starting to wane, more buildings are willing to have meetings and address their issues. MVUT has recently been meeting with tenant associations in Mt. Vernon and Yonkers .

INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING/ADVOCACY – MVUT continues to provide intensive case management for tenants facing eviction, trying to restore services, fighting rent increases/overcharges and other landlord harassment. We assist dozens weekly.

POLICY ADVOCACY – In addition to the above items, MVUT has played a leading or supponting roll in many coalition efforts on housing and economic justice issues, e.g. the Westchester “Right to Counsel” Coalition; the campaign for non-discrimination protection in renting, regarding Source Of Income (SOI); the statewide Housinq Justice for All (HJ4A) Coalition; the Westchester Eviction Prevention Network (WEPN); etc.

Support MVUT!!

Yes. I agree MVUT is doinq great work for tenants. I want to help them do even more! Enclosed find my contribution of:

$25 s50 $100 $200 $500 other

Name:

Address:

Telephone:

Email:

Please make checks payable to MVUT and mail to MVUT at P.O. Box 2107, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551  or bring to the office at 2 Gramatan Ave. Suite 304.
Letters_Emails_Calls – RTC Aug Week of Action Toolkit (2)
Thank you!

Download August 2021 Fundraising Flyer (PDF)

Download Right To Counsel Westchester Week of Action Flyer (PDF)