Tenants Free Meeting Space

News From New York State

Senator Shirley L. Huntley

For Immediate Release: May 6, 2011

Contact: Bryant G. Gaspard| gaspard@nysenate.gov | (518) 455-3531

Senate Passes Bill Giving Tenants Free Meeting Space in Public Housing

Standing up for the rights of tenants to organize, the New York State Senate has voted to eliminate the financial burden to tenants who want to conduct meetings in public housing, announced New York State Senator Shirley L. Huntley (D-Jamaica).

The legislation (S. 3114) bans the imposition of a fee currently placed on tenants wishing to hold a group meeting; under this bill, tenants would have access to a location owned by the authority which has been set aside as an area of common use for all tenants, including any community or social room.

In the 10th Senatorial District, which is a large section of Southeast Queens that I represent, housing developments such as Baisley Park and South Jamaica Houses would have the ability to have their tenant meetings inside the development. Any room that is open to all residents and is operated by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) can be used as a meeting place for tenant group meetings.

Providing tenants this option will allow them to feel more involved in decisions regarding where they live and possibly an increase in the amount of people who want to be a part of a tenant association. Providing an adequate space for tenants to meet in can help resolve issues around the development, plan for upcoming events, and enable residents to share ideas among each other on how they can improve where they live.

“These meetings are critical to the safety of the community and ability for tenants to organize, so they should not be subject to the same fees as an outside social gathering or event,” said Senator Huntley. “Tenants should not be forced to meet in unsafe conditions such as cramped apartments and hallways because meeting rooms are cost prohibitive.”

The legislation states that meetings scheduled by tenants must be peacefully conducted, during reasonable hours and not obstruct any access to other residents. The legislation also stipulates that the meeting space has to be reserved three days in advance to avoid the current fee.

Additional news available at http://huntley.nysenate.gov

New York State Senate Email | shuntley@nysenate.gov | (518) 455-3531