May MFJ newsletter

Mobilization for Justice

MFJ Saves 54-Year Tenancy for Bronx Senior

Harassment of seniors living in rent-regulated apartments has hit all-time highs throughout the city. Eugene, an 81-year-old Bronx resident who lived in his apartment for 54 years, was threatened with eviction by his landlord, who alleged that Eugene’s apartment was full of clutter and foul-smelling. The client rejected the landlord’s unfavorable offer of probation and MFJ Attorney Caroline Roe arranged several home visits by MFJ social work interns that revealed no clutter and no odors. After Ms. Roe filed her answer, the landlord agreed to inspect the apartment with her, but never showed up and later asked to reschedule. Concerned that the delay would cause undue stress on Eugene, Ms. Roe moved to dismiss the case, which the court granted. Eugene is now able to continue to peacefully live in his apartment without the fear of being evicted.

ConEd Forced to Change Its Illegal Hiring Procedures

When Ms. C was denied a job as a meter reader with Con Edison based on a medication she had been taking for a long time as prescribed by her doctor, MFJ Attorney Anamaria Segura helped her file a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She was one of sixteen workers who had filed similar complaints against Con Edison, based on their illegal policy of, among other things, requiring job applicants to answer illegal questions about their medical history, and subjecting them to pre-offer medical evaluations. The EEOC ultimately resolved the case in federal court through a consent decree. Ms. C received back pay, damages, and an offer of employment, and ConEd was required to make significant changes in its hiring and employment practices going forward.

MFJ in the News …

MFJ attorneys appeared in housing court on behalf of Chelsea residents displaced after a fire in their building. NBC News covered the case and sought answers from the landlord about her legal obligations to maintain the rent-regulated tenancies.

Uptown 1 Radio talks to MFJ Attorney Justin LaMort about a new report on Airbnb’s practices, which are shown to be contributing to racial gentrification in Harlem and other areas of NYC. LaMort notes that 1.2% of the available housing stock in NYC is off the rental market because the apartments are used exclusively for Airbnb rentals.

MFJ Attorney Ariana Lindermayer’s Op-Ed in Crain’s New York argues for passage of state legislation to strengthen consumer protections by clearly defining what constitutes unfair, unlawful or deceptive acts.

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Masthead photo by Cindy Knoke.