Tenants Have New Rights!

NYS passed Good Cause Eviction Protections against rent hikes and unfair evictions in April 2024. If you are eligible for Good Cause, you now have a right to remain in your home as long as you pay rent and follow your lease.

100+ Faith Leaders Call on Gov. Hochul to Back Good Cause, HAVP

February 8, 2023

Governor Kathy Hochul
NYS Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224 

Dear Governor Hochul,

We are writing as a coalition of faith-based leaders and advocates deeply alarmed about New York’s growing housing crisis, which is taking a deep toll on our congregants, our communities, and New York State at large. Exacerbated by the uneven recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, rents are spiking in cities across New York, evictions are surging, and homelessness is rising unabated. Deeply rooted racial and economic inequities are only growing worse. We need to restore justice to our housing system to protect the well-being of New Yorkers.. 

To address those inequities, we are writing to you in support of Housing Justice for All’s “Our Homes, Our Power” plan, a package of five statewide bills to ensure every New Yorker has a safe and affordable home. The package includes:

  • Good Cause Eviction:  Good Cause Eviction grants every tenant in New York State protections against unjust evictions and unreasonable rent increases by requiring landlords to justify rent hikes greater than 3% (or 150% of the Consumer Price Index.) This bill would protect 1.6 million households in New York State. 
  • Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP): HAVP creates a statewide rental subsidy program for low-income New Yorkers who are homeless, facing eviction, or at risk of losing their housing because of domestic violence or hazardous living conditions. This includes undocumented people, people without income, and people with felony convictions, none of whom are currently eligible for local or federal assistance.  
  • Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA): TOPA would provide tenants the right to collectively decide the future of their building when it’s up for sale and a tool to more effectively fight for safer and better living conditions by giving tenants the right of first refusal if their landlord decides to sell the building. Tenants could buy the building together and own it as a cooperative, turn the building into publicly owned housing, or work with a non-profit to remain a permanently affordable rental. 
  • Rent Guidelines Board Reform: This year, the New York City Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) passed the highest rent increase in a decade. Reforms must require the RGB to factor in a variety of considerations when determining rental prices to ensure they truly reflect the reality tenants on the ground face. 
  • Social Housing: The state must set up a Social Housing Development Authority (SHDA), a statewide agency with the power to build and preserve high-quality, affordable housing across the state. The SDHA would create a pathway to build publicly-backed housing that is insulated from the market and lets residents exert democratic control over their homes. 

We believe it’s our moral responsibility to protect New York’s most vulnerable residents. We firmly believe passing this package of bills will help address the state’s urgent housing crisis. Housing is a fundamental human right, and we need to do all we can to ensure everyone in New York has a safe place to call home.

Thank you for your consideration,

Imam Dr. Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid, The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood Inc./ Association of African American Imams

The Rev. Dr. Carl Adair, Zion Episcopal Church

Digital Minister James Admans, Fort Washington Collegiate Church

Fidele Albert, Pentecostal Church

Imam Shamsi Ali, Al Hikmah Mosque and Jamaica Muslim Center

Rev. Dr. Foluso Aruleba, Redeem Christian Church of God

Rev. Dominique Atchison, Interfaith Center of New York

Rabbi Guy Austrian, Fort Tryon Jewish Center

Reverend Laura Bachmann, Gates Presbyterian Church

Asad Bajwa, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Rev. Sara E. Baron, First United Methodist Church of Schenectady

Rev. Joyce Brandon, First Congregational Church of Rockaway Beach

Executive Director Chloe Breyer, The Interfaith Center of New York

Rev. Dr. Susan Brown, IMS

Sister Carol De Angelo, Sisters of Charity of New York

Reverend Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan, Coney Island Zen

Reverend Luis-Alfredo Cartagena Zayas, Park Avenue Christian Church DoC/UCC

Vice-President Monjur Choudhury, Jamaica Muslim Center

Rev. Peggy Clarke, Community Church of New York

Rabbi Emily Cohen, West End Synagogue

Karen Collins, St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist Church

Rev. Jeffrey Courter, First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills NY

Reverend Getulio Cruz Jr., Monte Sion Christian Church

The Rev. Canon John E. Denaro, St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church

Rev. Ashley DeTar Birt, Center for Jubilee Practice

President Dr. Abdelhafid Djemil, Majlis Ash-Shura. Islamic Leadership Council of NY

Pastor Kaji Dousa, Park Avenue Christian Church

Pastor Joyce Dugger, First Congregational Church Of Rockaway Beach

Reverend David W. Dyson

Mr. David Elitzer, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion

Pastor Brian C. Ellis-Gibbs, Queen’s Baptist Church

Rabbi Barat Ellman

President Somia Elrowmeim, Union of Arab Women

Madeleine Fortney, HUC-JIR

Rabbi Jonathan Freirich, VOICE Buffalo

Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg, Malkhut

Rabbi Howard Goldsmith, Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester

Rev. Dr. Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Park Avenue Christian Church

Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann, SAJ-Judaism that Stands for All

Rabbi Lisa Grant, Hebrew Union College

Adam Graubart, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

ED Marc L. Greenberg, Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing

Rev. Lynne A. Grifo, Retired Episcopal Priest

Rabbi Miriam Grossman, Kolot Chayeinu

President Mufty Hafiz Luthfur Rahman Qasimy, United Ulama Council Of USA INC

Erum Hanif, APNA Brooklyn Community Center

Rev. Dr. Frankco Harris, Mt. Olivet Baptist Church of Hollis

Rabbi Jill Hausman, Actors’ Temple, Cong. Ezrath Israel

Rabbi Shai Held, Hadar Institute (for ID purposes)

Beverly Hinds, New Creation Christian Church

Imam Qazi Hoque, Quba Masjid Brooklyn

Rabbi Margo Hughes-Robinson, T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Mona Hussain, Al Noor Center

Mona Hussain, Arab American Association of New York

Master of Divinity/Master of Science of Social Work Raquel Irizarry, All Souls Bethlehem Church

Rev. Dr. Bayer Jack-Wah Lee, First Chinese Baptist Church

Reverend Lauren A. Jacobs, ICNY (Interfaith Center of New York)

Reverend Laura Jervis, Rutgers Presbyterian Church – New York City

Congregational Secretary Sister Joan Agro, Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, NY

Rabbi Andrue Kahn

Imam Muhammad A. Khan, Masjid Omar Ben Abdel Aziz

Aminta Kilawan-Narine, Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus

Rabbi Stephanie Kolin, Congregation Beth Elohim

Senior Minister Jacqui Lewis, Middle Collegiate Church

Rabbi Ellen Lippmann, Tirdof: New York Jewish Clergy for Justice

Pastor Dustin G. Longmire, Messiah Lutheran Church & the Trinity Community Center

Cantor Abbe Lyons, Hillel at Ithaca College

Pastor Arelis M.Figueroa, La Iglesia del Pueblo

Rev. Rev Maggie Delia, One Spirit Interfaith/Interspiritual Seminary

Chairman Mohammed Mardah, African Advisory Council

Rabbi Marc Margolius, Institute for Jewish Spirituality

Brother John Patrick Martin, Maryknoll Missioners

Pastor of Justice and Mercy Zac Martin, Next Step Community Church

E. Magalene McClarrin, Memorial Presbyterian Church

Rachel McCullough, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

Rev. West McNeill, Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS

Ms. Marianne Montero, Riverdale Presbyterian Church and The Interfaith Center of NYC

Oustaz Mamadou Moustapha, The African Islamic Center

President John Mudd, Midtown South Community Council

Abdus-Salaam Musa, Al Markaz/Islamic Circle of North America

Elder Kwame Nana, Presbyterian Church Of Ghana

Executive Director Afaf Nasher, Council on American-Islamic Relations, New York (CAIR-NY)

Executive Director Aniqa Nawabi, Muslim Community Network

Minister Chibueze Okorie, The Church of Gethsemane (PCUSA)

Rev. Joseph Paparone, Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS

Rev. Benjamin Perry, Middle Church

Rabbi William Plevan

Karma Acharya Vijah Ramjattan, United Madrassi Association Inc.

Mr Jerry Rivers, NACCE-Church of Christ

Elder Louis D. Rodriguez, The Church of Gethsemane

Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, Dayenu

Pastor Donna Schaper, Bricks and Mortals

Ms. Donna Schlachman, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills

Rev. Deborah Schlein, Romemu

Cantor Eric Schulmiller, The Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore

Rabbi Misha Shulman, The New Shul

Harpreet Singh Toor, Sikh Cultural Society

Mary Smith, Church Women United in New York State

Rabbi Abby Stein, Sacred Space

Rabbi Joshua Strom, Congregation B’nai Yisrael

Subha Sundaram, Hindu Temple of Tri State

Mrs. Elaine Swaine, University Presbyterian Church, Buffalo NY

The Reverend Richard Tag

Director Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice

Rabbi Rachel Timoner, Congregation Beth Elohim

Djeneba Toure-Diaby, Zeina Lorraine Inc (Masjid Mohammad Ali Islamic Center)

Minister Vaughn Walters, Duryea Presbyterian Church

Ms. Weini Zhao, The International Hua-Yan Buddhist Federation

Rev. Seth Zuihō Segall, Pamsula Zen of Westchester

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