NYC Launches Tenant-Landlord Mediation Project for Avoiding Evictions
Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced a new program to provide housing security to tenants across the city who may be facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective immediately, the Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project will serve New Yorkers each month by addressing rent-related issues in a mediation setting, outside of the housing court system. The program will focus on hardest hit communities.
"As the City continues to beat back COVID-19, we must use every tool at our disposal to keep tenants safely in their homes, especially in communities that were already burdened by the affordable housing crisis," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "This project will ensure that New Yorkers aren't forced from their home during this unprecedented health and economic crisis."
Through this project, nonprofit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) will assist tenants and small landlords in finding solutions to rental issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to resolve cases before they reach litigation and avoid the long-term effects of an eviction proceeding, which can lead to displacement for vulnerable tenants and limit future housing options. The Mediation Project will handle cases in a setting where both parties feel safe, and priority will be given to tenants and small landlords who don’t have legal representation.
The city-wide Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project will be managed by CDRCs in coordination with Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT), and the Mayor's Public Engagement Unit (PEU), with support from the Human Resource Administration’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ). Eligible tenants will be referred to CDRCs in each borough, and each CDRC will manage case intake, provide mediation sessions, and monitor case follow up for tenants.