On Thursday April 24th CMS’ Staff Attorney Kenny Minaya and CMS’ Performances Evaluation Coordinator Virginia Thomas attended Queens Borough President Melinda Katz’s joint housing and immigration task force meeting. This was the first meeting in a series that will build coalition amongst organizations in Queens which provides immigrants with social, legal and housing services.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz welcomed representatives from New York State and New York City agencies and local community organizations of Queens. She emphasized the importance of collaboration and coalition buildings as organizations strive to make resources available and visible to the neediest and most vulnerable populations. After her welcome panelists : Carl Petersen and Amir Rasoulpour,Esq. from Housing Court Answers; Kate Bracken, Director of the NYC Commission on Human Rights; and Seema Agnani, Executive Director of Chhaya informed task force members about tenant’s rights in the housing legal system, and their basic human rights. Panelists shared their aspiration for the availability of more affordable housing units for low-income tenants, greater legal power to punish landlords who threaten out-of-status immigrants, and greater language access to tenants who appear in housing court.