How a Priest and an Assemblyman are Fighting for Tenant’s Rights

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Coronavirus, Crux, Faith, Health, Health Care, Housing, Housing, Media, Queens, NY, World News

By Jessica Easthope

Two-thirds of people living in the city rent their homes, and right now, many are worried about how they’re going to be able to pay their landlords.

Father Edward Mason, the Pastor of Mary Mother of the Church in East New York has been working residents in housing authority buildings for decades.

“It’s a very unsettling time for folks, that’s for sure,” said Mason.

Even though there’s a freeze on evictions for the next ninety days, the priest is concerned about the future.

“We have these statements that have been made that no one is going to be evicted during this crisis but what happens when the crisis is over?” said Mason.

Bronx Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is working on an answer to that question.

“I have legislation along with my colleague Senator Hoylman in the Senate saying that 6 months after the emergency landlords will not be allowed to evict tenants on these grounds,” said Dinowitz.

Assemblyman Dinowitz is a long-time advocate for public housing tenants – and he’s not only worried about rent but also what the pandemic is doing to their health.

“The people who live in NYCHA are on the average more vulnerable because they’re in contact with more people and live in densely populated buildings as it is,” said Dinowitz.

Father Mason shares Dinowitz’s concerns, saying “I’m not going in and inspecting NYCHA buildings the way I used to but I’m sure that these issues only exacerbate those efforts so I’m very worried about the health conditions in NYCHA buildings at this time.” 

Currents News reached out to the New York City Housing Authority about sanitizing the apartment buildings and rent relief for tenants but our request for comment was not immediately answered.