Assistance for Former and Current Steve Croman Tenants
If you are a current or former tenant of slumlord Steve Croman’s buildings, you might be eligible to receive a piece of the $8 million restitution that Croman was required to pay. According to New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood’s office, “Tenants are eligible for restitution if they are or were a tenant in a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartment owned by Croman between July 1, 2011 and the date of the agreement (December 20, 2017); they received a buyout of less than $20,000, not including any amount that purported to cover rent or arrears; and no other tenant in their apartment received money from the restitution fund.” The restitution fund will be divided equally among those who make claims.
Individuals in Croman-owned buildings who are or were rent-stabilized tenants should receive claim notices and forms. More details on the restitution can be found at the website for the Croman Tenant Restitution Fund and in Attorney General Underwood’s press release regarding the restitution fund.
Looking for Affordable Housing
If you are looking for affordable housing units, please visit NYC Housing Connect here or Mitchell Lama Connect here. The City has created a series of guides to help make the process of applying for affordable housing easier. These guides answer frequently asked questions about the process and can be found here.
What is Rent Regulation?
There are two common types of rent regulation in NYC: rent control and rent stabilization. According to the 2014 NYC Housing and Vacancy Survey, there are about 27,000 rent controlled apartments vs. about 1,030,000 rent stabilized apartments. For more information on the difference between the two forms of rent regulation, click here.
Have Your Rent Frozen
If you are a rent stabilized tenant you can apply to have your rent frozen under the Freeze Your Rent program (formerly the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and the Disabled Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) programs). For more information on the Freeze Your Rent program, click here.
For assistance with the Freeze Your Rent program, including enrollment, renewals, appeals, transfers, and adjustments, you can contact the Department of Finance’s SCIRE/DRIE Unit online, or visit the SCRIE and DRIE Walk-in Office at 66 John Street, 3rd floor, Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
Get Your Rental History
Every tenant should get an official copy of their rental history so that you can see if the unit you are occupying is or was previously rent stabilized, and if you are receiving a preferential rent (for more information on preferential rents, click here). To get your rental history you can reach out to the New York State Department of Homes & Community Renewal’s (HCR) Rent Info Hotline at 718-739-6400 (and press 1 and then 7). You can also ask HCR a question through this form.
Are you being harassed by your landlord?
The harassment of tenants by landlords or owners can include:
- Not offering leases or lease renewals, or repeatedly trying to pay you to move out.
- Unjustified eviction notices or illegal lockouts.
- Threats and intimidation, such as late-night phone calls.
- Overcharging for a rent-regulated apartment.
- Failure to provide necessary repairs or utilities.
- Deliberately causing construction-related problems for tenants, such as working after hours, blocking entrances, or failing to remove excessive dust or debris.
If you feel you are being harassed by your landlord, superintendent, or building management staff, you can reach out to HCR’s Tenant Protection Unit at 718-739-6400 (and press 1 and then 3). You can also call the Legal Aid Society at (212) 577-3300, Legal Services NYC at (917) 661-4500, or the Urban Justice Center at (646) 459-3017.
If you are being evicted and need legal assistance, click here to learn more about the Right to Counsel program and other forms of legal aid that are available to you.
Assistance if you are at risk for eviction
If you are at risk for eviction there are services that can help you stay in your home. A variety of government agencies and nonprofit organizations provide support to those who have fallen behind on rent. Click here to find out more information about those programs.