Tenants pack legal clinic

Council Member Dan Garodnick speaks to tenants at the legal clinic on nonrenewal notices and succession rights last Wednesday, as Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg listens. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Council Member Dan Garodnick speaks to tenants at the legal clinic on nonrenewal notices and succession rights last Wednesday, as Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg listens. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Over 250 people showed up last Wednesday to a legal clinic held by the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, to have their questions answered about the recent round of golub notices and to learn about apartment succession rights. Aki Younge, a paralegal working on the community development project in the housing practice area for the Urban Justice Center, offered general information about the two complicated legal topics while four lawyers from the UJC were available for individual appointments to meet with tenants about their specific concerns.

The meeting, held in the auditorium at Simon Baruch Middle School, started at 6 p.m. and TA President Susan Steinberg said that they ended up having to schedule the appointments right at the beginning of the meeting because about 30 people had requested a slot with a lawyer.

“There are only four lawyers so we needed to have them meeting with people to whole time to get all of the appointments in,” she said. “Thirty was way more than we expected. We thought it would only be a handful of people but clearly we have hit a nerve.”

Councilmember Dan Garodnick, who was also in attendance, recalled that this kind of meeting was a much more common occurrence during the days of Tishman Speyer.

“We had a lot of these meetings in those days when Tishman Speyer was using aggressive acts, trying to find ways to get people out,” he said. “We’ve had years of calm but (CWCapital) has said that they felt they had let the question lapse, but they have also said that this is a one-time push on the issue, when you’ll see this level of notices.”

Despite the frequency of building owners using specific legal issues against tenants, Younge explained that the rules are not intended to be malicious.

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