For Tenants

Catholic Migration Services represents low-income New Yorkers living in Brooklyn or Queens free of charge.

Consultations are by appointment only. If you live in Queens, contact us at (347) 472-3500. If you live in Brooklyn, contact us at (718) 236-3000. Bushwick residents are encouraged to contact us at (718) 628-1490 to schedule an appointment during our Bi-monthly Housing Clinic Consultation with an attorney.

Please note: an initial consultation does not guarantee legal representation by Catholic Migration Services.

Legal Work

We offer one-on-one consultations (and may be able to offer representation) in matters regarding:

  • Obtaining repairs
  • Eviction defense
  • Nonpayment defense
  • Division of Housing & Community Renewal (DHCR) matters, including:
    • Rent reductions for conditions needing repair
    • Overcharges
    • MCA (Major Capital Improvement) challenges
  • Harassment
  • Succession rights
  • Lease renewals
  • Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemptions (SCRIE) & Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE)
  • Illegal lock-outs

And much more!

Organizing

Right to Counsel (RTC)
Catholic Migration Services is very active in the Right to Counsel Coalition of NYC which is made up of tenant organizing groups, tenant advocates, law schools and legal services organizations. We are working together to ensure that our city’s housing courts are a place of fairness, justice and equity. We do not support forced displacements that can and should be prevented and we believe that safe and affordable housing is central to our city’s future. We are working on establishing a right for New York residents to be represented in housing court by licensed, qualified and experienced attorneys when they go to housing court to defend their rights.

We have also led the organizing work in Queens by hosting the Borough-wide Town Hall, participating in the hearing at City Hall and taking active part in other activities and actions. This campaign has also led the way to developing the leadership skills of many of our community members, who are passionate about fighting for justice because they have either lived or seen the struggle.

 

Rent Guidelines Board (RGB)
Catholic Migration Services is part of the Rent Justice Coalition (RJC), which includes legal services, organizing, advocacy and tenants’ groups that join together to push the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) to use data and reason to pass more equitable and pro-tenant rent adjustments.

Our fight helps protect the rents, homes and lives of over two million New Yorkers living in an estimated one million rent-stabilized apartments.

Catholic Migration has led this work in Queens by educating community members and actively participating in all events, public hearings and mobilizing tenants who testify in front of the board. This work is meant to educate tenants and empower them to know that they can influence the decision made by the board.

 

Real Rent Reform (R3)
Catholic Migration Services is part of the Real Rent Reform coalition which includes Community Based Organizations, Advocates and Tenant Associations that fights to strengthen the laws that regulate the rent stabilized and rent control apartments in New York.

Every 4 years the Rent Stabilization Laws are up for renewal in Albany and that’s when we have an opportunity to demand bigger and better changes.

We are working to see the passage of bill S3712,/ A741 which would close a loophole in the rent laws that currently impacts hundreds of thousands of “preferential rent” tenants. This bill would require that preferential lease renewals be offered based on the lower rate, and only allows landlords to jump up to the legal regulated rent upon vacancy.

Catholic Migration Services is part of the very active groups in Queens that are organizing around this issue, collaborating with elected officials, doing tenant education and outreach and taking part in all activities to make sure tenants with Preferential Rents are protected.

 

Stabilize NYC
Stabilizing NYC is a coalition comprised of fifteen grassroots neighborhood-based organizations (among them CMS), a citywide legal service provider and a citywide housing advocacy organization who have come together to combat tenant harassment and preserve affordable housing for the New Yorkers who need it most. This project combines legal, advocacy and organizing resources into a citywide network to help tenants take their predatory equity landlords to task for patchwork repairs, bogus eviction cases, and affirmative harassment.

 

LEAP
LEAP is a city-funded coalition comprised of direct civil legal services providers that work together to increase the availability of quality civil legal services for low income individuals in New York City, with a specific focus on communities most vulnerable to upcoming rezoning. Participating legal service providers include: Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A, Brooklyn Defenders, CAMBA Legal Services, Goddard Riverside Law Project, JASA Legal Services For The Elderly, Lennox Hill Neighborhood House, Make The Road, Inc., MFY Legal Services, Inc., New York Lawyers For Public Interest, NMIC, The Bronx Defenders, Boom! Health and Urban Justice Center.

If you live in zip codes 11101, 11354 or 11358, please call us at (646) 459-3036