October 19, 2020

A Message From MELS Regarding COVID-19 and Housing

NY HOUSING UPDATES: EVICTION AND FORECLOSURE MORITORIUM, COVID-19 DISCRIMINATION, NYCHA & SECTION 8 RENT HARDSHIPS

The Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) is operational and ready to serve you. Our offices at 55 Water Street are closed but we are working remotely. Call us with your housing questions and for legal representation at (212) 815-1111.

During the public health emergency caused by COVID-19:

  • There will be no evictions or foreclosures through June 18, 2020.
  • Your landlord cannot start a lawsuit against you for non-payment of rent. However, the landlord may send you a rent demand notice asking you to pay your rent and threatening a lawsuit if you fail to make payment.
  • Your landlord cannot start a “holdover” lawsuit against you for grounds other than non-payment. However, the landlord may send you a termination notice or a notice to quit threatening to commence a court case if you don’t move out by a date certain.
  • Your landlord cannot evict you or ask you to leave your apartment because you have COVID-19. If your landlord discriminates against you for this reason, you can file a complaint with the NYC Commission on Human Rights by calling 311 or filing online:  https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/about/report-discrimination.page
  • If you have already been sued in Housing Court and have a pending case, the court will adjourn the case and will notify you of the future date that you must appear in court.
  • The Housing Courts are only hearing emergency applications where tenants have been locked out or evicted from their apartments and where serious conditions have gone unrepaired.
  • Tenants living in NYCHA:

-Conferences and hearings at 803 Atlantic Avenue will be rescheduled.

– If you are a NYCHA tenant and have lost income in your household, request a rent reduction by calling (718) 707-7771 or thru the online self-service portal. The NYCHA website is busy so you may have to wait to be connected.

https://selfserve.nycha.info/eservice_enu/start.swe?SWECmd=Login&SWECM=S&SRN=&SWEHo=selfserve.nycha.info#no-back-button

– NYCHA will only do emergency repairs at this time.

– NYCHA Property Management Offices remain open with reduced staff; direct-contact meetings and Wednesday evening hours are suspended. Staff will assist residents via telephone, email, and from behind the reception desk only.

  • Tenants with cases at HPD:

– Conferences and hearings at 100 Gold Street will be rescheduled.

– HPD will continue to pay Section 8 subsidies until there is a final determination made regarding the termination of assistance

  • Section 8 tenants who are experiencing a rent hardship due to a decrease in income may apply for a rent reduction:

– NYCHA Section 8 tenants may access the self-service portal  https://selfserve.nycha.info/eservice_enu/start.swe?SWECmd=Start&SWEHo=selfserve.nycha.info#no-back-button or call the NYCHA Customer Service Center at 718-707-7771.

– HPD Section 8 tenants may contact HPD via DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or by fax at 212-863-5299.

The Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) is operational and ready to serve you. Our offices at 55 Water Street are closed but we are working remotely. Call us with your housing questions and for legal representation at (212) 815-1111.

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