By RUDY OROZCO
Affordable housing is one of the most critical issues in New York. As part of the Housing Justice for All coalition, DC 37 supports an Albany legislative agenda that would expand tenant rights, stabilize neighborhoods and eliminate the control corporate landlords have over housing throughout the state.
The coalition is pushing the state legislature to pass nine bills before the session ends at the end of June. Each bill helps protect tenant rights by limiting the ability of landlords to gouge prices and raise rents exorbitantly.
DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido noted our union’s progressive history and its commitment to helping all of New York’s working families.
“We have always been concerned with more than wages, working conditions and pensions for our members,” he said. “The fight for stronger tenant rights and more affordable housing is among our biggest challenges right now. By working with the Housing for Justice for All coalition, we can push Albany in the right direction.”
According to Housing Justice for All campaign coordinator Celia Weaver, New York’s current system of tenant protections is “poked with loopholes” because of the influence of the real estate lobby.
“Right now landlords have a huge financial incentive to harass and evict tenants and push people out of their homes,” she said. “Our legislative package would strengthen people’s rights to hold on to their homes and give tenants the right to organize for better living conditions.”
As part of the campaign, DC 37’s radio program State of the Union on 91.5 WNYE-FM has focused on tenants’ rights on recent shows.
Attorney Steven Atchison explained how the union’s Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) represents members in housing court and stressed the importance of being aware that MELS’ services are available to them if their landlords threaten them with eviction or if they have other tenant legal issues.
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