A new, exciting bill is gaining momentum in City Council! Tenants and advocates congregate today outside of Bronx Housing Court in support of passing Intro 477, the Tenants’ Bill of Rights. If passed, this bill would mandate that all landlords post a standardized bill of rights outlining basic rights and resources for tenants. In order to be accessible for all, posted Bill of Rights will be translated into all major languages and hung in every apartment building in the city. The bill was originally introduced in 2011 by City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, but had been stalled as a result of pushback from landlords. In an interview with the NY Daily News, Cabrera explains that:
“The delay has been about trying to reach a compromise on language that meets the needs of both landlords and tenants,” said Cabrera (D-West Bronx). “Every single tenant is going to be able to see this, so there’s a lot at stake.”
Even so, there is much hope that the bill will pass this spring with the support of Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
As tenant organizers at UHAB, we stand in strong support of passing Intro 477. We work daily with tenants whose rights are violated, who are afraid to organize, and who face real discrimination from their landlords. Those with access to the Bill of Rights will have greater resources to uphold their rights as tenants and stand up for themselves!
Check out the Tenants’ Bill of Rights here.