Catholic Migration Services is honored to host our annual Sunset Reception on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at the Pierrepont House in Brooklyn Heights, NY. As is customary, our attorney’s will share information about each of our program areas, covering immigration, tenant advocacy and workers’ rights.
The event brings together legal professionals seeking to expand their work in the non-profit industry. Be sure to save your spot and fill out the form below.
A tenant resource fair was held in Bushwick on Tuesday, March 28th hosted by the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development along with Councilmembers Antonio Reynoso and Rafael Espinal. The event aimed at informing tenants and providing legal tools and associations to help tenants fight back against landlords and scrupulous tactics. Managing attorney for the housing program with Catholic Migration Services, Andrew Lehrer was among the organizations present.
Currents reporter covers City Hall rally where Council Members Levine and Gibson joined the Right the Council Coalition advocating passage of Intro 214-A, calling on New York to become the first city to give tenants the right to free counsel.
Tenants rally at City Hall in support of Intro 214-A
The Right to Counsel Coalition comprised of tenants, advocates, academics and legal services providers rallied on Wednesday, December 13th at the steps of City Hall calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to pass Intro 214-A, in support of right to counsel for all low income tenants who face eviction in New York City. Clever Borja, a Queens tenants representing CMS shared his testimony before the crowd.
Tenant leaders and members. Above, from left, Rosalba Quintero, Lesvia Mendez, Lorena Lopez, Lucelly Hincapie, Ruben Dario Llanos, Member representing CMS, Martha Genao, Telvia Acevedo, Lauren Springer, Jose Genao & Ernestina Villafane. (Photo: Mariam Magar)
On Friday, September 30th the Rent Justice Coalition recognized Catholic Migration Services (CMS) for its work on behalf of low-income Queens tenants in connection with the June 9th rent stabilization hearing held at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center Auditorium before the New York City Rent Guidelines Board (RGB).
The board, comprised of nine members, held multiple public hearings throughout the City of New York in anticipation of their final vote on June 27th where they passed the second straight rent freeze in their 46-year existence. A historical achievement that affects 1.6 million rent stabilized tenants; the 7-2 vote approved a 0% increase on one-year leases and a 2% increase on two-year leases signed between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017.
Serving as borough head for Queens, Catholic Migration Services prepared for the public hearings mobilizing tenants among the groups from the Rent Justice Coalition representing Queens County. During this time tenants testified before the Rent Guidelines Board sharing personal experiences and expressing why a rent increase was not putting the most vulnerable New Yorkers first. Lorena Lopez, a tenant organizer with Catholic Migration Services was pleased with the vote and honored that the organization was recognized in the fight to advocate on behalf of tenants in the borough but also shared the work doesn’t end here. “We believe the tenants deserve a rent rollback and although this is a celebration for the tenants, organizers, attorneys and members the reality is several seats on the Rent Guidelines Board will become vacant by the end of this year. That means the work of the coalition is to re-educate its new members,” explained Lopez.
After a recent suit filed by the Rent Stabilization Association (RSA) against the Rent Guidelines Board, advocating on behalf of tenants will continue to encounter hurdles. Lopez fears the new board will act more conservatively when making decisions that could benefit tenants since the RSA represents 25,000 landlords of one million rent stabilized apartments in the five boroughs. Until then the New York City Rent Freeze, a success for over 1 million New Yorkers, mainly comprised of low-income families, senior citizens and the disabled went into effect October 1st. This affects residents who rent an apartment that is rent regulated (rent controlled, rent stabilized, hotel stabilized or Mitchell-Lama).
Kenny Minaya, housing attorney and coordinator of the CMS Immigrant Tenant Advocacy Program (ITAP), was recently mentioned in an article by the New York Daily News. Read more about the work we are doing in support of affordable housing for low-income immigrant tenants by following this link.
Congratulations to Kenny and everyone supporting the incredible work of ITAP!