Projects, Units & Initiatives
Housing Justice Unit-Group Advocacy
The Housing Justice Unit-Group Advocacy works with eligible tenant groups or associations, community groups and advocates, HDFC coop boards, and groups of shareholders, to promote and preserve affordable housing, improve housing conditions and prevent harassment and displacement in NYC’s rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods.
We Can Help When
- doesn’t provide heat or hot water to the building
- won’t make repairs
- has abandoned the building
- is harassing or trying to evict tenants
- has or is trying to raise rents illegally
- has filed for bankruptcy or is in foreclosure
- has threatened to or has filed a case in court or at an administrative agency
A tenant group
- is on rent strike or wants to start a rent strike
- wants to sue their landlord in court for repairs, harassment or other acts
- wants to file a complaint or petition at an administrative agency
- wants to buy their building
- wants to organize and/or structure a tenant association or housing group
- has questions about tenant and housing rights and how to exercise them
- wants information about possible non-legal and other community resources
- needs advice and/or assistance with corporate governance issues
- is not functioning properly
- is threatened with foreclosure
There is power in numbers and you don’t have to suffer or fight alone!
Join with your neighbors to get the safe, decent, affordable housing that your family and community deserve. Contact us if you and your neighbors want to work together for better housing conditions and on protecting, expanding, and enforcing housing rights.
Call 212-577-7988, Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. or email HousingGrpAdv@legal-aid.org.
Legal Aid represents the majority of tenants in a 21 unit building in Washington Heights, Manhattan that is in the post rehabilitation stage of the process of converting to an H.D.F.C. low-income, limited-equity housing cooperative, through the City’s Third party Transfer program. Most of the tenants lived in their apartments for more than 26 years, some as many as 44 years. The tenants have waited and prepared for years to become shareholders of the H.D.F.C. and this may be their only opportunity to remain in and own a property that offers long-term affordability.
The Legal Aid team has helped the tenants resolve multiple problems that could impede their ability to become owners, including: seeking reasonable accommodations for section 8 voucher holders to allow “undersized” households to remain in their apartments and keep their subsidies; hiring and monitoring contractors to address needed services and repairs; assuring that warranties on work and supplies do not expire and are complied with; helping to secure rent arrears owed by the commercial tenants; and reviewing and amending the commercial lease to provide more and stronger protections for the future coop. In addition, Legal Aid staff has provided the tenants with information and training regarding how to run a cooperative corporation; the rights and obligations of shareholders; and the rights and obligations of corporate directors. With our help, the now tenants are in a solid position to have the property convert to an HDFC coop and become owner/shareholders.
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