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NYC Tenant Research for Librarians Melissa Gasparotto Radical Reference Skillshare October 14, 2007 ABC No Rio.

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Presentation on theme: "NYC Tenant Research for Librarians Melissa Gasparotto Radical Reference Skillshare October 14, 2007 ABC No Rio."— Presentation transcript:

1 NYC Tenant Research for Librarians Melissa Gasparotto Radical Reference Skillshare October 14, 2007 ABC No Rio

2 Housing Questions Are Often Prompted by Emergencies Housing is an emotional issue. By the time a patron comes to you for assistance, s/he may be facing the threat of unaffordable rent increases, harassment, eviction, etc. Housing is an emotional issue. By the time a patron comes to you for assistance, s/he may be facing the threat of unaffordable rent increases, harassment, eviction, etc. Patrons will repeatedly ask for legal advice. Since librarians cannot do this, knowing how to refer patrons to appropriate organizations and/or government agencies is paramount. Patrons will repeatedly ask for legal advice. Since librarians cannot do this, knowing how to refer patrons to appropriate organizations and/or government agencies is paramount. Its important to get the referral right the first time. Tenants in vulnerable positions can easily slip through administrative cracks when passed from one agency/organization to another. Its important to get the referral right the first time. Tenants in vulnerable positions can easily slip through administrative cracks when passed from one agency/organization to another. Like all other reference questions, the patron may not adequately state the problem right away. This can result in hours spent on wild goose chases. Like all other reference questions, the patron may not adequately state the problem right away. This can result in hours spent on wild goose chases.

3 Sample Patron Questions Are there any violations on my building? Are there any violations on my building? What is my status as a tenant? (Rent stabilized/Rent controlled?) What is my status as a tenant? (Rent stabilized/Rent controlled?) Who owns my building? Who owns my building? Is my apartment legal? (ex. basement apt., no window in kitchen, etc.) Is my apartment legal? (ex. basement apt., no window in kitchen, etc.) Is my rent legal? (Is it registered?) Is my rent legal? (Is it registered?) How do I apply for DRIE/SCRIE? How do I apply for DRIE/SCRIE? How do I find affordable housing? How do I find affordable housing?

4 Sample Patron Questions, cont. How do we form a tenants association? How do we form a tenants association? What is the proper process to follow before going on rent strike? What is the proper process to follow before going on rent strike? How do I report a negligent absentee landlord? How do I report a negligent absentee landlord? What is the history of my building? What is the history of my building? Does my building have a J-51 tax abatement? What does this have to do with my status as a rent stabilized tenant? Does my building have a J-51 tax abatement? What does this have to do with my status as a rent stabilized tenant? Can I deny my landlord entry to my unit? Can I deny my landlord entry to my unit?

5 Sample Patron Questions, cont. How do I apply for Section 8? How do I apply for Section 8? My landlord added something called a Major Capital Improvement increase to my rent. What the %#*! is that, and is it legal? My landlord added something called a Major Capital Improvement increase to my rent. What the %#*! is that, and is it legal? My apartment has peeling lead painthow do I get my landlord to remove the hazard? My apartment has peeling lead painthow do I get my landlord to remove the hazard? I am a rent stabilized/ rent controlled tenant in a co-op. What are my rights? I am a rent stabilized/ rent controlled tenant in a co-op. What are my rights?

6 Public Information Sources Databases (Government, Non-profit, Commercial) Databases (Government, Non-profit, Commercial) Fact sheets and other publications issued by city agencies, boards or advocacy organizations Fact sheets and other publications issued by city agencies, boards or advocacy organizations Print resources issued by commercial vendors Print resources issued by commercial vendors Administrative code Administrative code Laws Laws

7 The Problem is TOO MUCH information Librarians should be aware of which agencies oversee which issues, in order to direct patrons to the appropriate database, code, etc. Librarians should be aware of which agencies oversee which issues, in order to direct patrons to the appropriate database, code, etc. Agency data is not pooled in any meaningful way by the city. Outside organizations and/or commercial firms provide aggregating services. Agency data is not pooled in any meaningful way by the city. Outside organizations and/or commercial firms provide aggregating services. Some aggregators are better than others. Its a good idea to cross-reference all available sources. Some aggregators are better than others. Its a good idea to cross-reference all available sources.

8 Public Databases Department of Housing Preservation & Development Department of Housing Preservation & Development HPD Building Info Database (http://167.153.4.71/hpdonline/provide_address.as px) HPD Building Info Database (http://167.153.4.71/hpdonline/provide_address.as px)http://167.153.4.71/hpdonline/provide_address.as pxhttp://167.153.4.71/hpdonline/provide_address.as px Violations on a unit-by-unit basis, past and present Violations on a unit-by-unit basis, past and present Owner name and mailing address, emergency contact information (property manager, etc.) Owner name and mailing address, emergency contact information (property manager, etc.) Info on emergency repairs performed by the City Info on emergency repairs performed by the City Pending litigation Pending litigation

9 Public Databases, cont. Department of Buildings Department of Buildings Building Information System (http://a810- bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/bsqpm01.jsp) Building Information System (http://a810- bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/bsqpm01.jsp)http://a810- bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/bsqpm01.jsphttp://a810- bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/bsqpm01.jsp Construction permits applied for and/or issued Construction permits applied for and/or issued Certificate(s) of occupancy Certificate(s) of occupancy DOB Violations DOB Violations Database of ongoing construction projects (new buildings, major alterations and full demolitions) by neighborhood Database of ongoing construction projects (new buildings, major alterations and full demolitions) by neighborhood

10 Public Databases, cont. Department of Finance Department of Finance Automated City Register Information System ACRIS (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/jump/acris.sht ml) Automated City Register Information System ACRIS (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/jump/acris.sht ml)http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/jump/acris.sht mlhttp://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/jump/acris.sht ml Title history Title history Sales prices (erratic) Sales prices (erratic) Occasional lease, air rights transfer, miscellaneous documentation Occasional lease, air rights transfer, miscellaneous documentation Scanned images of most documents Scanned images of most documents

11 Public Databases, cont. Department of Finance Department of Finance Property Information System (http://nycserv.nyc.gov/nycproperty/nynav/jsp/selectbbl.jsp ) Property Information System (http://nycserv.nyc.gov/nycproperty/nynav/jsp/selectbbl.jsp )http://nycserv.nyc.gov/nycproperty/nynav/jsp/selectbbl.jsp Property tax rates, formulas, bills and payment histories Property tax rates, formulas, bills and payment histories J-51 Benefits History Database J-51 Benefits History Database (http://webapps.nyc.gov:8084/cics/cwba/dfhwbtta/abhq) (http://webapps.nyc.gov:8084/cics/cwba/dfhwbtta/abhq)http://webapps.nyc.gov:8084/cics/cwba/dfhwbtta/abhq Loft Board Loft Board (http://www.nyc.gov/html/loft/html/home/home.shtml) (http://www.nyc.gov/html/loft/html/home/home.shtml)http://www.nyc.gov/html/loft/html/home/home.shtml Database of lofts throughout the city Database of lofts throughout the city

12 Aggregators OASIS NYC OASIS NYC Open Accessible Space Information System (http://www.oasisnyc.net/oasismap.htm) Open Accessible Space Information System (http://www.oasisnyc.net/oasismap.htm)http://www.oasisnyc.net/oasismap.htm GIS mapping database GIS mapping database Includes property report with links to city agency databases Includes property report with links to city agency databases Map layers include land use data, parks and other open space, environmental hazards, aerial photos Map layers include land use data, parks and other open space, environmental hazards, aerial photos

13 Aggregators, cont. Center for New York City Law Center for New York City Law CityAdmin (http://www.citylaw.org/cityadmin.php) CityAdmin (http://www.citylaw.org/cityadmin.php)http://www.citylaw.org/cityadmin.php Searchable library of decisions by city agencies, including Loft Board and Board of Standards & Appeals Searchable library of decisions by city agencies, including Loft Board and Board of Standards & Appeals Property Shark Property Shark (http://www.propertyshark.com/mason/) (http://www.propertyshark.com/mason/)http://www.propertyshark.com/mason/ Commercial service, only portions of which are free. Commercial service, only portions of which are free.

14 Fact Sheets, Calculators, etc. Rent Guidelines Board Rent Guidelines Board (http://www.housingnyc.com/index.html) (http://www.housingnyc.com/index.html)http://www.housingnyc.com/index.html Fact sheets, codes, laws, etc. Fact sheets, codes, laws, etc. Rent stabilized building list: (http://www.housingnyc.com/html/resources/zip.html) Rent stabilized building list: (http://www.housingnyc.com/html/resources/zip.html)http://www.housingnyc.com/html/resources/zip.html Vacancy lease calculator Vacancy lease calculator Useful life schedule for Major Capital Improvements Useful life schedule for Major Capital Improvements

15 Fact Sheets, cont. Division of Housing and Community Renewal Division of Housing and Community Renewal (http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/) (http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/)http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/ Administers rent control & stabilization Administers rent control & stabilization Nice glossary of rent regulation terms, with links to appropriate fact sheets (http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/ora/progs/oraprogs.htm#de fins) Nice glossary of rent regulation terms, with links to appropriate fact sheets (http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/ora/progs/oraprogs.htm#de fins)http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/ora/progs/oraprogs.htm#de finshttp://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/ora/progs/oraprogs.htm#de fins Forms for landlords and tenants organized by topic (http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/ora/infobytopic.htm) Forms for landlords and tenants organized by topic (http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/ora/infobytopic.htm)http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/ora/infobytopic.htm

16 Fact Sheets, cont. New York State Attorney General New York State Attorney General (http://www.oag.state.ny.us/realestate/tenants_righ ts_guide.html) (http://www.oag.state.ny.us/realestate/tenants_righ ts_guide.html)http://www.oag.state.ny.us/realestate/tenants_righ ts_guide.htmlhttp://www.oag.state.ny.us/realestate/tenants_righ ts_guide.html Tenants Rights Guide Tenants Rights Guide NYC Department of Buildings NYC Department of Buildings (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/reference/code _internet.shtml) (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/reference/code _internet.shtml)http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/reference/code _internet.shtmlhttp://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/reference/code _internet.shtml Building Code Building Code

17 Fact Sheets, cont. New York City Affordable Housing Resource Center New York City Affordable Housing Resource Center (http://www.nyc.gov/html/housinginfo/html/home/ home.shtml) (http://www.nyc.gov/html/housinginfo/html/home/ home.shtml)http://www.nyc.gov/html/housinginfo/html/home/ home.shtmlhttp://www.nyc.gov/html/housinginfo/html/home/ home.shtml Clearinghouse for information on finding affordable housing, finding legal assistance, applying for subsidies, reporting maintenance problems Clearinghouse for information on finding affordable housing, finding legal assistance, applying for subsidies, reporting maintenance problems

18 Fact Sheets, cont. City-Wide Task Force on Housing Court City-Wide Task Force on Housing Court (http://www.cwtfhc.org/factsheets.html) (http://www.cwtfhc.org/factsheets.html)http://www.cwtfhc.org/factsheets.html Housing Court Fact Sheets Housing Court Fact Sheets Tenant.net Tenant.net (http://www.tenant.net/) (http://www.tenant.net/)http://www.tenant.net/ Articles, fact sheets, summaries of select Housing Court decisions of interest, forum Articles, fact sheets, summaries of select Housing Court decisions of interest, forum

19 Fact Sheets, cont. Met Council on Housing Met Council on Housing (http://www.metcouncil.net/factsheets/factsheets.ht ml) (http://www.metcouncil.net/factsheets/factsheets.ht ml)http://www.metcouncil.net/factsheets/factsheets.ht mlhttp://www.metcouncil.net/factsheets/factsheets.ht ml Informational pamphlets on legal issues surrounding rent regulation, plus more general pamphlets for all renters (bedbugs, credit reports, etc.) Informational pamphlets on legal issues surrounding rent regulation, plus more general pamphlets for all renters (bedbugs, credit reports, etc.)

20 Print Resources New York Tenants Rights. Hellenborg, Mary Ann. Berkeley, CA: NOLO, 2002. New York Tenants Rights. Hellenborg, Mary Ann. Berkeley, CA: NOLO, 2002. Plain-English legal info Plain-English legal info Available throughout NYPL, BPL and QPL branch libraries Available throughout NYPL, BPL and QPL branch libraries The New York Landlords Law Book. Hellenborg, Mary Ann. Berkeley, CA: NOLO, 2003. The New York Landlords Law Book. Hellenborg, Mary Ann. Berkeley, CA: NOLO, 2003. Available throughout NYPL, BPL and QPL branch libraries Available throughout NYPL, BPL and QPL branch libraries

21 Print Resources, cont. New York Landlord & Tenant Handbook (Summary Proceedings). Charlottesville, VA: LexisNexis Gould Publications. Annual. New York Landlord & Tenant Handbook (Summary Proceedings). Charlottesville, VA: LexisNexis Gould Publications. Annual. Less accessible legal handbook. Contains copies of important landlord/tenant forms. Less accessible legal handbook. Contains copies of important landlord/tenant forms. Available throughout NYPL and BPL branches, and at QPL Central Library Available throughout NYPL and BPL branches, and at QPL Central Library New York Landlord and Tenant: Rent Control and Rent Stabilization, 2 nd ed. Rochester, NY: Lawyers Co-operative Pub. Co., 1987. Supplemented annually. New York Landlord and Tenant: Rent Control and Rent Stabilization, 2 nd ed. Rochester, NY: Lawyers Co-operative Pub. Co., 1987. Supplemented annually. Contains all statutes and administrative material in one volume, plus supplement. Contains all statutes and administrative material in one volume, plus supplement. Available at BPL Business Library Available at BPL Business Library

22 Print Resources, cont. New York Landlord v. Tenant. New York: Vendome Group, LLC. Monthly periodical. New York Landlord v. Tenant. New York: Vendome Group, LLC. Monthly periodical. Summaries of notable landlord/tenant disputes. Summaries of notable landlord/tenant disputes. Good way to keep up on current trends in DHCR and Housing Court, DOB, ECB and HPD proceedings. Good way to keep up on current trends in DHCR and Housing Court, DOB, ECB and HPD proceedings. Available at SIBL and BPL Business Library Available at SIBL and BPL Business Library

23 Emergency Referrals City-Wide Task Force on Housing Court City-Wide Task Force on Housing Court (http://www.cwtfhc.org/index.html) (http://www.cwtfhc.org/index.html)http://www.cwtfhc.org/index.html Telephone Hotline, Information tables at Housing Courts Telephone Hotline, Information tables at Housing Courts Legal Aid Society Legal Aid Society (http://www.legal-aid.org/en/home.aspx) (http://www.legal-aid.org/en/home.aspx)http://www.legal-aid.org/en/home.aspx Provides legal assistance and representation at no cost Provides legal assistance and representation at no cost Fights eviction, challenges rent increases and overcharges, helps secure rent subsidies, and helps obtain repairs. Fights eviction, challenges rent increases and overcharges, helps secure rent subsidies, and helps obtain repairs.

24 Emergency Referrals, cont. Legal Services for NY Legal Services for NY (http://www.lsny.org/) (http://www.lsny.org/)http://www.lsny.org/ Represents tenants in nonpayment and eviction cases, helps pursue rent overcharge claims and secure necessary repairs. Represents tenants in nonpayment and eviction cases, helps pursue rent overcharge claims and secure necessary repairs. MFY Legal Services, Inc. MFY Legal Services, Inc. (http://www.mfy.org/index.html) (http://www.mfy.org/index.html)http://www.mfy.org/index.html Provides free legal advice, counsel and representation to low-income New Yorkers Provides free legal advice, counsel and representation to low-income New Yorkers

25 Emergency Referrals, cont. Urban Justice Center Urban Justice Center (http://www.urbanjustice.org/ujc/index.html) (http://www.urbanjustice.org/ujc/index.html)http://www.urbanjustice.org/ujc/index.html Eviction prevention legal clinics Eviction prevention legal clinics

26 Miscellaneous Links Who Represents Me? Who Represents Me? (http://www.cmap.nypirg.org/netmaps/MyGovern ment/NYC/MyGovernmentNYC.asp) (http://www.cmap.nypirg.org/netmaps/MyGovern ment/NYC/MyGovernmentNYC.asp) Personal page of Stuart Lawrence, Housing Attorney Personal page of Stuart Lawrence, Housing Attorney (http://homepages.nyu.edu/~swl2/housing.html) (http://homepages.nyu.edu/~swl2/housing.html)http://homepages.nyu.edu/~swl2/housing.html Excellent collection of links relating to NYC housing issues Excellent collection of links relating to NYC housing issues


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