senate Bill S303

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Establishes the bureau of the senior tenants' advocate in the state office for the aging

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Mar 12, 2012 committee discharged and committed to rules
Feb 21, 2012 notice of committee consideration - requested
Jan 04, 2012 referred to aging
Apr 04, 2011 reported and committed to finance
Feb 22, 2011 notice of committee consideration - requested
Jan 05, 2011 referred to aging

Votes

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Apr 4, 2011 - Aging committee Vote

S303
6
3
committee
6
Aye
3
Nay
3
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show Aging committee vote details

Aging Committee Vote: Apr 4, 2011

aye wr (3)

Co-Sponsors

S303 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1176
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Elder Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง224, Eld L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S1556A, A8966A

S303 - Bill Texts

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Establishes the bureau of the senior tenants' advocate within the state office for the aging; provides that the senior tenants' advocate shall assist senior citizen tenants in resolving complaints they may have with the New York state division of housing and community renewal, landlord disputes, rent increases, and other housing related matters; provides that the governor shall appoint the senior tenants' advocate to a term of four years.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S303

TITLE OF BILL: REVISED 12/30/11
An act
to amend the elder law, in relation to establishing the bureau of the
senior tenants' advocate in the state office for the aging

PURPOSE:
Establishes the bureau of the senior tenants' advocate in the state
office for the aging that will take in complaints from senior tenants
and refer those complaints to the agency or agencies

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 Amends the Elder Law by adding a new section 224. Creates
within the State Office for the Aging, a Bureau of the Senior Tenant
Advocate for the purpose of assisting senior citizen tenants in
resolving complaints they may have with the New York State Division
of Housing and Community Renewal, landlord disputes, rent increases
and other housing related matters.

Provides for the governor to appoint a state senior tenants' advocate.

Establishes requirements for the hiring and specifies the duties of
the senior tenants' advocate.

Provides a process for the review of complaints submitted to the
senior tenants' advocate.

Requires the senior tenants' advocate to maintain records as
determined by the office for the aging.

Prohibits retaliatory discrimination against tenants who have brought
any complaint to the state senior tenants' advocate for referral.

Authorizes the director of the state office for the aging to
promulgate regulations to implement these provisions.

Requires the state senior tenants' advocate to submit an annual report
to the governor, temporary president of the Senate, Speaker of the
Assembly and the director of the Office for the Aging, by the State
Senior tenants Advocate.

Specifies that such report will be made available to the public and
include the following: a description of the activities carried out by
the Bureau, analyzed data relating to complaints for the purpose of
identifying and resolving recurring problems, and recommendations for
the creation of appropriate state legislation and other actions to
preserve and promote the rights of senior citizen tenants. The report
will also include recommendations for the improvement of public
awareness of senior citizen tenants rights and availability of public
assistance programs to senior citizen tenants and other matters that
the senior tenants advocate determine to be appropriate.

Section 2 - Effective Date

EXISTING LAW:


JUSTIFICATION:
This legislation will create within the New York State Department for
the Aging, a Bureau, whose sole purpose will be to protect the rights
of senior citizen tenants. The Bureau will also provide a place where
these individuals may submit any housing complaint and obtain
immediate action. The Bureau of the Senior Tenant Advocate will also
ensure that senior citizen tenants are afforded all the necessary
information required to navigate through the New York City's housing
market.

Senior citizens are at a higher risk to become victims of dishonorable
conduct by various housing entities including, but limited to,
landlords and other tenants. This legislation will provide a venue of
protection for these individuals.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011: S.303 - Reported and Committed to Finance/A.1176 - Reported
Referred to Ways and Means
2009-10: S.1556A - Amend and Recommit to Finance/A.8966A - Reported,
Referred to Ways and Means
2007-08: S.777 - Referred to Aging/A.3077 - Reported, Referred
to Codes

EFFECTIVE DATE:
On the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   303

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  DIAZ  --  read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Aging

AN ACT to amend the elder law, in relation to establishing the bureau of
  the senior tenants' advocate in the state office for the aging

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  The  elder  law is amended by adding a new section 224 to
read as follows:
  S 224. SENIOR TENANTS' ADVOCATE. 1. BUREAU ESTABLISHED. THERE IS HERE-
BY ESTABLISHED WITHIN THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING A BUREAU  OF  THE  SENIOR
TENANTS' ADVOCATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSISTING SENIOR TENANTS IN RESOLV-
ING COMPLAINTS THEY MAY HAVE WITH THE NEW YORK STATE DIVISION OF HOUSING
AND  COMMUNITY  RENEWAL,  LANDLORD  DISPUTES,  RENT INCREASES, AND OTHER
HOUSING RELATED MATTERS.
  2. APPOINTMENT OF SENIOR TENANTS' ADVOCATE. THE GOVERNOR SHALL APPOINT
A STATE SENIOR TENANTS' ADVOCATE TO ADMINISTER AND SUPERVISE THE  BUREAU
OF THE SENIOR TENANTS' ADVOCATE. THE SENIOR TENANTS' ADVOCATE SHALL:
  (A) BE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING;
  (B)  BE  SELECTED FROM AMONG INDIVIDUALS WITH EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE
IN LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW AND WITH OTHER QUALIFICATIONS APPROPRIATE FOR
THE POSITION;
  (C) HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO APPOINT ONE  OR  MORE  AUTHORIZED  REPRESEN-
TATIVES TO ASSIST THE SENIOR TENANTS' ADVOCATE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS
OR  HER  DUTIES UNDER THIS SECTION AND, IF NECESSARY, PERFORM THE DUTIES
OF THE SENIOR TENANTS' ADVOCATE ON HIS OR HER BEHALF; AND
  (D) REPORT DIRECTLY TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING.
  3. DUTIES OF THE SENIOR TENANTS' ADVOCATE.  THE SENIOR TENANTS'  ADVO-
CATE SHALL:
  (A)  IDENTIFY AND ASSIST IN THE RESOLUTION OF COMPLAINTS THAT ARE MADE
BY, OR ON BEHALF OF, SENIOR TENANTS IN THIS STATE  AND  THAT  RELATE  TO

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02202-01-1

S. 303                              2

ACTIONS,  INACTIONS,  OR DECISIONS THAT MAY ADVERSELY AFFECT THE HOUSING
AND RESIDENCY RIGHTS OF SUCH SENIOR TENANTS, IN ACCORDANCE  WITH  PROCE-
DURES ESTABLISHED BY THE SENIOR TENANTS' ADVOCATE BY MAKING REFERRALS TO
THE  APPROPRIATE AGENCY OR AGENCIES THAT MAY BEST ADDRESS THE COMPLAINTS
OF THE SENIOR CITIZEN TENANTS;
  (B) PROVIDE INFORMATION  REGARDING  PROGRAMS  AND  AGENCIES  THAT  CAN
ASSIST SENIOR TENANTS IN RESOLVING THEIR COMPLAINTS;
  (C) ANALYZE AND MONITOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF FEDERAL,
STATE,  AND  LOCAL  LAWS,  REGULATIONS,  OR POLICIES WITH RESPECT TO THE
ADEQUACY OF HOUSING MATTERS FOR SENIOR TENANTS WITHIN THE STATE; AND
  (D) CARRY OUT SUCH OTHER ACTIVITIES AS THE  SENIOR  TENANTS'  ADVOCATE
DETERMINES  TO BE APPROPRIATE PURSUANT TO PERTINENT STATE LAWS AND REGU-
LATIONS.
  4. REVIEW OF COMPLAINT.  UPON  RECEIPT  OF  A  COMPLAINT,  THE  SENIOR
TENANTS' ADVOCATE SHALL DETERMINE IMMEDIATELY WHICH AGENCY WOULD BE MOST
APPROPRIATE  FOR  THE  PURPOSES OF FORWARDING SUCH COMPLAINT. THE SENIOR
TENANTS' ADVOCATE SHALL THEN FORWARD THE COMPLAINT AND INFORM THE TENANT
MAKING THE COMPLAINT WHERE HIS OR HER COMPLAINT WAS FORWARDED.
  5. RECORDS.  THE SENIOR TENANTS' ADVOCATE SHALL MAINTAIN SUCH  RECORDS
AS ARE DETERMINED NECESSARY BY THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING. ANY STATE AGEN-
CY  RECEIVING A COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL PROVIDE THE
SENIOR TENANTS' ADVOCATE WITH WRITTEN NOTICE  OF  THE  RECEIPT  OF  SUCH
COMPLAINT.
  6. RETALIATORY DISCRIMINATION PROHIBITED. NO PERSON SHALL DISCRIMINATE
AGAINST  ANY  TENANT BECAUSE SUCH TENANT, OR ANY PERSON ACTING ON BEHALF
OF SUCH TENANT, HAS BROUGHT OR CAUSED TO BE BROUGHT ANY COMPLAINT TO THE
SENIOR TENANTS' ADVOCATE FOR REFERRAL, OR AGAINST ANY OTHER  PERSON  WHO
HAS  GIVEN OR PROVIDED OR IS TO GIVE OR PROVIDE ANY STATEMENTS, TESTIMO-
NY,  OTHER  EVIDENCE,  OR  COOPERATION  IN  CONNECTION  WITH  ANY   SUCH
COMPLAINT.
  7. REGULATIONS. THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING IS AUTHORIZED
TO PROMULGATE REGULATIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION.
  8.  ANNUAL  REPORT. THE STATE SENIOR TENANTS' ADVOCATE SHALL SUBMIT AN
ANNUAL REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR, THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT  OF  THE  SENATE,
THE  SPEAKER  OF  THE  ASSEMBLY,  AND THE DIRECTOR, AND MAKE SUCH REPORT
AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC. SUCH REPORT SHALL:
  (A) DESCRIBE THE ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT BY THE BUREAU  OF  THE  SENIOR
TENANTS' ADVOCATE DURING THE PRIOR CALENDAR YEAR;
  (B)  CONTAIN  AND ANALYZE DATA RELATING TO COMPLAINTS CONCERNING RESI-
DENTIAL HOUSING FOR SENIOR CITIZEN TENANTS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF IDENTIFY-
ING AND RESOLVING RECURRING PROBLEMS;
  (C) EVALUATE THE PROBLEMS EXPERIENCED BY, AND THE COMPLAINTS  MADE  BY
OR ON BEHALF OF, SENIOR CITIZEN TENANTS;
  (D) CONTAIN RECOMMENDATIONS FOR:
  (I)  APPROPRIATE  STATE  LEGISLATION,  RULES AND REGULATIONS AND OTHER
ACTION TO PRESERVE AND PROMOTE THE RIGHTS OF SENIOR CITIZEN TENANTS; AND
  (II) IMPROVING PUBLIC AWARENESS OF SENIOR CITIZEN TENANTS' RIGHTS, AND
AVAILABILITY OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS TO  SENIOR  CITIZEN  TENANTS;
AND
  (E)  ANY OTHER MATTERS THAT THE SENIOR TENANTS' ADVOCATE DETERMINES TO
BE APPROPRIATE.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law; provided, however, that any rules  or  regu-
lations  necessary  for  the  timely implementation of the provisions of
this act on its effective date shall be promulgated on  or  before  such
date.

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