P.A.'L.A.N.T.E. Harlem announces its 3-day Demystifying Housing event
June 16 to June 18, 2016
P.A.'L.A.N.T.E. (People Against Landlord Abuse and Tenant Exploitation) Harlem will hold its annual Demystifying Housing conferenceat the Harlem State Office Building, located at 163 West 125 Street, June 16 through June 18, 2016. Over the course of 3 days registrants will have an opportunity to attend nearly fifty different sessions including housing clinics, round-table talks, and technical and poster sessions on cutting edge issues for renters and homeowners. In addition to housing law, legal Clinics have expanded this year to include labor, corporate, immigration, personal injury, trusts and estates, and criminal law. All events are free and open to the public.
"The Demystifying Housing conference has become the preeminent conference of its kind in this community, if not the city," says Elsia Vasquez P.A.'L.A.N.T.E. founder and CEO. "As we consistently strive to improve the annual conference we have worked tirelessly to develop innovative programming, information sessions and free legal clinics that are vital yet hard to obtain for the community who needs this help."
“The crisis surrounding affordable housing in New York City is as urgent as it is complex, and this annual conference is essential to build momentum and affect change that will help to keep our neighbors in their homes and preserve a city of diversity and strength,” says Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright. “I look forward to participating in another successful Demystifying Housing conference, where I'm confident our conversations will help advance our shared mission of protecting and expanding affordable housing in the City of New York.”
"P.A.'L.A.N.T.E. is a leader in the fight for affordable housing in New York City, and the Demystifying Housing Conference is another way for tenants to learn their rights and stand their ground against unscrupulous landlords,” says Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “I'm proud to be a part of it, and I hope tenants take advantage of this informative and free event."
The Demystifying Housing conference allows P.A.’L.A.N.T.E. to bring industry experts together in one location for maximum access. These include lawyers, developers, financial institutions, practice/business consultants as well as senior managers and commissioners from governmental agencies, including the New York State Tenant Protection Unit, Housing Preservation & Development, NYC Commission on Human Rights, New York City Housing Authority, The NYS Attorney General, NYC Department of Buildings and the Division of Housing and Community Renewal. They will come together with elected officials, community leaders, and neighborhood residents for moderated discussions on current, hot-button topics in housing and community development. The conference also offers participants the opportunity to network with community stakeholders.
“Knowledge is power, and nowhere is that truer than in the fight for tenants and affordable housing,” says Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I am always glad to participate in the Demystifying Housing conference, because sharing knowledge and savvy is a critical part of our work to keep renters and homeowners in their homes, help win new and better affordable housing, and fight back against attacks on rent regulation and our neighborhoods.”
"Now more than ever tenants need to understand their rights and make their voices heard in the ongoing debate over New York City housing policy,” says New York City Councilmember, Mark Levine who is also participating. “This conference will once again serve as a powerful tool for tenant education and empowerment."
One session of note takes place at 10 a.m. on Saturday June 18 titled Inside the Mind of a Slumlord like Alma Realty & BCB Management/Novel PV. Among the many created problems hazardous and unsafe living conditions rise to the top. “These two predatory equity landlords use a methodology that includes illegal construction, predatory harassment techniques, and illegal deregulation,” says Edwin Torres president Hamilton Heights Tenants Association. “Even more egregious is the morally corrupt intimidation, frivolous lawsuits and the discontinuation of building wide service reductions including utilities they frequently employ.”
"What I have witnessed is simply staggering," says David Hanzal, president of Manhattanville Tenants Association. "Tenants have had their ceilings cave in on them, find themselves living with extreme rodent conditions, some apartments are so bad tenants are forced to leave for health reasons, and many of these people are elderly and vulnerable tenants. My co-presenters and I look forward to providing much needed insight as to how to navigate the multiple problems created by slumlords."
A special round-table lunch each day of the conference with the first one explores solutions to the homeless problem, day 2 looks at the state of affordable housing while the round-table on the third day looks to encourage participants to lead- become tenant leaders themselves.
In addition to Brewer and Assemblyman Wright, Council Members Helen Rosenthal and Mark Levine, former New York City Council member Robert Jackson will be participating. Other presenters include Tim Collins of Collins, Dobkin & Miller, Civil Rights and Liberties lawyer Norman Siegel, attorneys Judith Goldberg and Lucy Newman of Legal Aid, Benjamin Dulchin of ANHD, Paul Ambinder of Virgina & Ambinder LLP, and Cal Snyder and Arnie Segarra.
Members of the community wishing to attend the conference should register online.
P.A’L.A.N.T.E. Harlem organizes and empowers residents of New York City to hold negligent landlords and property managers accountable for unsafe living conditions through community advocacy, outreach, organizing effective tenant associations, providing long-term technical assistance, and connecting individuals and tenant groups to free or reduced-rate legal services and housing benefits.
Media interesting in attending any part of this conference or seeking interviews should contact Scott McDowell.
Director of Communications