On Monday, June 10, 2013, Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) joined New York City tenants and grassroots organizations from around the city to rally in support of stronger regulations for rent law enforcement, in order to prevent illegal overcharges, harassment and evictions. Immediately following the rally, tenants testified at a hearing to review New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s (HCR’s) proposed amendments to the rules regarding rent regulation enforcement.
The rally was primarily organized by the groups Tenants and Neighbors and Association for Neighborhood Housing and Development. Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) was a co-sponsor for the rally, and testified at the public hearing.
Rent regulated housing is the largest and most stable affordable housing in New York City and State. Rent regulation also provides tenants with essential tenant rights and protections. HCR has proposed amendments to the Rent Stabilization regulations. Tenant advocates are pleased that the new regulations include many proposals that will help tenants challenge illegal rent increase, fight harassment, and prevent illegal deregulation.
Douglas Nam Le, AAFE’s Director of Policy and Leadership Development, said about the rally and hearing:
“We rally with housing organizations and other allies to strengthen tenants’ rights across New York State. These new rules to protect rent regulated housing being proposed by the Department of Housing and Community Renewal are a step in the right direction. They address issues that could not be covered by the 2011 Tenant Protection Act. The regulations will provide better oversight by the State over rent increases through major capital improvements, succession rights, and when apartments are taken out of rent regulation. However the State must do everything in its power also to ensure language access with public information and legal documents translated into languages other than English for the hundreds of thousands of tenants who have limited English proficiency.”
Joining AAFE were representatives from Senator Daniel Squadron, Senator Liz Krueger, Assemblymember Micah Z. Kellner, Assemblymember Linda D. Rosenthal and Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried’s offices as well as grassroots community groups from all five boroughs of New York City, including – Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, CAAAV, CASA-New Settlement Apartments, Flatbush Tenants Coalition @ FDC, Good Old Lower East Side, Housing Conservation Coordinators, Make the Road New York, Minkwon Center for Community Action, SRO Law Project: Goddard Riverside Community Center, Tenants and Neighbors, Queens Housing Coalition, and St. Nicks Alliance.