Senate Passes Senator Adriano Espaillat’s Bill Making it Easier for Tenants to Hold Meetings in Housing Authority Developments

Adriano Espaillat

May 02, 2011

Today, the New York State Senate passed an important bill sponsored by Senator Adriano Espaillat (D – Manhattan/Bronx) which makes it easier for tenants to hold meetings in buildings operated by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

The legislation (S. 3114) will permit tenants to hold meetings in a common area of NYCHA operated buildings without any fee. Currently, tenant groups and committees, that may not be able to afford a costly social room, sometimes hold meetings in individual apartments or open spaces in possible violation of building codes.

“This is an important piece of legislation which will protect tenants in New York City and facilitate discussions on important issues that affect residents in NYCHA operated buildings,” said Senator Adriano Espaillat (D – Manhattan/Bronx) who serves as the top Democrat on the Senate Housing Committee. “By allowing tenants to hold meetings free of charge and making available appropriate meetings space in the apartment complex, the legislation will also prevent the need for tenants to hold meetings in small spaces and possibly violate building codes.”

To facilitate smoother operations, the legislation requires tenants to reserve space at least three days in advance of a gathering. The bill passed the Senate unanimously. It was Senator Espaillat’s first bill passage since being elected to the Senate last November. The legislation has also passed in the Assembly and now awaits approval from the governor.

Assemblyman Keith Wright, prime sponsor of the Assembly version of the legislation said: “I am thankful that the New York State Senate has passed this important legislation which I have been sponsoring in the State Assembly for over ten years. I am happy to hear that the rights of tenants to organize has again been protected in law by the New York State Legislature and I look forward to the day when our tenants can congregate freely in their own residences," said Assemblyman Keith Wright of Harlem, Chairman of the Assembly Subcommittee on Public Housing.