Pro Bono News
Planned NYCHA HQ Move Leaves Some Tenants in Dark (NY)
Friday, May 17, 2019
- Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Planned NYCHA HQ Move Leaves Some Tenants in Dark
"The New York City Housing Authority is shifting eviction hearings from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn — but tenants and attorneys say there’s been little notice of the change.
Beginning June 24, the authority’s Office of Impartial Hearings will operate in Brooklyn at 787 Atlantic Ave., near the Barclays Center, handling cases of tenants facing eviction for late rent payments or problematic conduct. The ailing agency is leaving its longtime offices at 250 Broadway to save money.
The new office will be closer to home for some of NYCHA’s more than 400,000 residents and a further trek for others — approaching two hours away for some Bronx and Staten Island tenants. If a tenant who has received a notice to appear for a hearing misses a hearing date without a valid excuse, they are typically held in default, making eviction imminent.
What’s more, say tenants and attorneys who work with those at risk of ejection from NYCHA, the authority so far hasn’t informed most residents that the office everyone knows as the place to plead their case is relocating.
“There’s not signage posting on 250 Broadway that they’re moving,” said Lucy Newman of The Legal Aid Society.
Many in the Bronx were surprised to learn the hearing rooms, along with NYCHA staff who negotiate settlements with tenants, would be shifted to Brooklyn.
“I had no idea. I had no clue,” said retiree Gwen Evans at the Fort Independence Houses in Kingsbridge — an hour and 15 minutes away from NYCHA’s new Brooklyn outpost by subway. “They call you to remind you of repairs, they call you to rate the repair, but they don’t call to say they’re not gonna be there no more.”..."