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Organize Tenants: R3 Orientation - even for tax exempt groups! Come.

The Real Rent Reform Campaign invites your organization to an


  • Tuesday, April 26, 2011
  • Noon
  • at 1999 SEIU, 310 W. 43rd St. in the 7th floor conference rooms 2A and 2B, Manhattan

Click here for the Orientation Invitation Flyer.

  • Learn the history of rent regulations in New York City and where R3 fits into the picture.

  • Learn how your organization can be part of the movement to protect and strengthen rent regulations!
    • Including a special focus on how 501(c)(3)ís can participate in legislative work.

  • Get to know fellow leaders in the movement to make rent reform a reality!

RSVP to realrentreform@gmail.com if you plan to attend. For more information or if you would like to RSVP by phone, contact

Tara Buentello
Goddard Riverside West Side SRO Law Project
at (212) 799-9638, ext. 206.

And don't forget the R3 Fundraising Reception in the same building (penthouse!) on FRIDAY, MAY 6th from 6-8 PM. Scroll down on this home page for more information about it.

Posted by sue on Friday, April 22 @ 11:46:16 UTC (1079 reads)
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Organize Tenants: Real Rent Reform Campaign on the move!

The Real Rent Reform (R3) Campaign is growing and - after a summer break - preparing for the next legislative session.

They are welcoming additional organizational membership to join the slew of endorsers - community groups, tenant associations, unions, religious organizations, to work on legislative strategy, build the tenant base, and more.

If your group is interested in supporting R3 and playing an active role, contact Mario at Met Council on Housing, mario@metcouncil.net.

Posted by sue on Saturday, December 04 @ 21:12:12 UTC (963 reads)
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Organize Tenants: The right to be in a tenants association
State law gives all tenants in New York State the right to organize and participate in tenants associations.

Real Property Law Section 230 states:

"1. No landlord shall interfere with the right of a tenant to form, join, or participate in the lawful activities of any group, committee, or other organization formed to protect the rights of tenants; nor shall any landlord harass, punish, penalize, diminish, or withhold any right, benefit, or privilege of a tenant under his tenancy for exercising such right.

"2. Tenants' groups, committees or other tenants' organizations shall have the right to meet without being required to pay a fee in any location on the premises including a community or social room where use is normally subject to a fee which is devoted to the common use of all tenants in a peaceful manner, at reasonable hours and without obstructing access to the premises or facilities. No landlord shall deny such right. "

Posted by sue on Thursday, December 20 @ 22:24:19 UTC (1238 reads)
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Organize Tenants: Zoning to Preserve Affordable Housing
Brad Lander, Director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, gave an excellent presentation on zoning at a meeting sponsored by the West Siders for Peace and Justice, an interfaith group of clergy. He is also on Governor Spitzer's housing task force.

While the presentation focused on zoning issues in the Upper West Side (UWS), it presents a good basis for understanding zoning and how it can be used to preserve affordable housing Click on "READ MORE" below for some details.

The main ingredient, as might be expected, is community activism, especially involvement with the local Community Board covering your neighborhood.

Click here for the informative slides used in the presentation. Affordable housing becomes central beginning at Slide 6.

Posted by sue on Friday, January 12 @ 21:41:29 UTC (1353 reads)
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Organize Tenants: Accountants - Reviewing Finances
If your building is fighting a rent increase, you need an advocate -- in many cases an accountant. (Click here to find a list of lawyers)

If your building is still in Mitchell-Lama, the landlord is only entitled to the cost of running the building plus a 6% return on his investment. The cost of running the building may rise where the landlord invests money in something that benefits the whole building, such as a new roof, elevators, or windows.

But: the rents may only stay at the increased level until these improvements are paid for. At that point, the rent should go down again.

You need a careful, informed review may also be necessary when the building is about to leave Mitchell-Lama.

So you need someone who can go over the landlord's claimed costs and income with careful eye.

In addition, when fighting a rent increase at the state's Division of Housing & Community Renewal or the city's Department of Housing Preservation & Development -- or the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development -- those agencies often respond better to professionals.

Posted by sue on Wednesday, December 21 @ 23:50:40 UTC (3326 reads)
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Organize Tenants: ''Affordable No More'' - NYC Comptroller's Report
"Affordable No More: An Update" is the 2006 edition of the 2004 Affordable No More . Both these reports are from the office of NYC Comptroller William Thompson. The maps are posted separately at www.comptroller.nyc.gov/bureaus/opm/reports.shtm .

The2004 report includes colored maps of Mitchell-Lama developments (both rental and co-op) that remained in or were leaving (or have left) the Mitchell-Lama program.

The later report has multicolored charts.

The 2004 report details a loss of nearly 1/3 the Mitchell-Lama homes in New York City -- truly making this place "Affordable No More."

The 2006 report notes that the pace of loss has accelerated.

Posted by sue on Tuesday, October 11 @ 11:28:36 UTC (3380 reads)
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Organize Tenants: BUYOUT HANDBOOK
Click here to read a Mitchell-Lama Tenant "Buyout" Handbook in English on line. (The most recent version: July 2011.) A Spanish language version is available as well. Click here to request a Word version you can print out in booklet format.

Posted by sue on Saturday, October 08 @ 09:00:00 UTC (6156 reads)
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Organize Tenants: Flyer for Tenants
Click on "Read More" for some sample flyers that you can modify for your building and give to tenants explaining the building situation to them.

Posted by sue on Friday, March 11 @ 15:04:15 UTC (5046 reads)
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Organize Tenants: Finding a Lawyer
If your builidng may be taken out of the Mitchell-Lama program, your tenants' association needs a lawyer. Click on "read more" below for a list.

While the law applies to all Mitchell-Lama buildings, each building has a history that makes a legal difference. Read more for why you need a lawyer and the names of some lawyers with Mitchell-Lama experience.

  • What is the wording of the land use agreement or covenant issued when your project was built? That could determine whether you can stay in Mitchell-Lama longer.

  • Is your building supervised by HPD (the City) or DHCR (the State)? That makes a difference in terms of who keeps the landlord's "capital reserve fund" after the buyout, and in certain other buyout rules.

  • Was your building built before or after 1974? That will determine whether you must go into rent stabilization, for example)
-- and more.

So get legal advice. With a lawyer experienced in this area of law, you can get some answers:

  • Is there a way to prevent or delay leaving Mitchell-Lama?
  • Will there be an issue about your community room or your garage?
  • What tax breaks has your landlord gotten in the past -- and how will they influence what happens to the building?

Posted by sue on Saturday, March 05 @ 14:09:57 UTC (8016 reads)
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Organize Tenants: Tenant Organizing Suggestions
Let's share successful tenant organizing strategies.

Click here for information on organizing a tenant association from scratch in Mitchell-Lamas, and click for an excellent guide from Met Council on Housing. Click here for tenant association strategies as you prepare for leaving Mitchell-Lama. And click on "read more" for organizing suggestions for

  • existing tenant organizations and
  • starting a new tenants' association.

Contact this website with more suggestions. Also check out Tenant Net for more organizing suggestions.

Posted by sue on Saturday, February 12 @ 22:15:22 UTC (2100 reads)
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