Washington, DC – Two Brooklyn organizations that advocate for fairer and more affordable housing in New York City are receiving additional resources from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) announced this week. Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation and South Brooklyn Legal Corporation are receiving $975,000, collectively, to continue providing legal and other services to working families in Brooklyn.
“For families to access affordable housing, they often need legal representation that takes their side against abusive landlords,” Velázquez noted. “I’m pleased these organizations are receiving additional federal funding that will allow them to continue advocating on behalf of New York’s working families.”
For a decade and a half, these groups have focused on legal redress to prevent predatory lending and foreclosure. The groups have also been instrumental in stopping housing discrimination, lending discrimination and foreclosures. Most recently, Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation was involved in several high-profile cases where a Bushwick landlord was refusing to repair apartment properties in an attempt to force out lower income tenants and eventually raise rents.
“Too often, the landlord-tenant relationship is unbalanced with all the power on the side of unscrupulous landlords,” Velázquez added. “Organizations like these play a critical role in giving tenants somewhere to turn when they are being treated unfairly under the law.”
The grants come as HUD observes National Fair Housing Month, which marks the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, the landmark law that prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and family status.
“Fair and affordable housing is a basic right for all New Yorkers and all Americans,” Velázquez noted. “To protect those rights we must continue investing in those organizations committed to advocating on behalf of residents.”