ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Housing rights advocates are set to rally outside of City Hall on Eagle Street, Tuesday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fair housing activists support proposals to improve the situation for renters by changing buildings and codes departments and enacting “good cause” eviction protections.
Participants can get involved by demonstrating in person or testifying online. The city is accepting testimony during the public comment segment of the Planning Department meeting on Tuesday. Register for the virtual meeting or simply tune in.
In January, Attorney General Letitia James announced a $1 million grant for Albany as part of the Cities for Responsible Investment and Strategic Enforcement program. Albany could use that Cities RISE grant funding to enact “good cause” protections, reform processes that amplify homelessness, hold property owners accountable, and connect them to resources they need to meet code requirements or implement emergency repairs.
According to Citizen Action NY, half of all tenants in Albany were considered “rent-burdened”—and a quarter “severely rent-burdened”—before the pandemic. Since then, they say, tenants are at even greater potential risk from predatory landlords who maintain unsafe or inhumane conditions.
“Failure to comply with building code is often a tactic property owners use to force tenants out of their apartments,” said Tanique Williams, Communications Manager of Citizen Action of NY. “Due to the pandemic, tenants are at heightened risk for these types of intimidation.”
Citizen Action NY also says that 60% of all residents in the city of Albany are renters.
The rally is organized by Citizen Action of NY, the NYS Capital District Poor People’s Campaign, VOCAL-NY, United Tenants of Albany, and the Labor Religion Coalition of New York State.
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