City Hall. Probably one of the best hook-ups we were able to get for Youth Create. In this trip we were able to go to City Hall and learn about the tenants’ rights and rent stabilization. We arrived, after a long walk from school, and were welcomed at the entrance into the City Hall building. We were taken to a room where we were taught about rent stabilization and what rights one has in a rent stabilization ordinance.
The first right we have is the right to know our rights in an RSO. The second right is the right to legal rent. Things like having notice of rent increase, having rent increase only every twelve months, only a legal percentage of rent can be increased, and rent percentage has to be decreased if a housing service is taken away. The third right is the protection of illegal eviction and ensured payment of relocation assistance. You don’t get relocation assistance if you are at fault a violation of the building’s rules (ex. not paying rent, drugs and gangs, etc.). If you aren’t at fault, then you get assistance based on how long you’ve been at the location.
Something big we were taught at City Hall was the Ellis Act, an option for landlords to stop business. This act basically lets landlords go out of business and everyone is given a notice of eviction. After the building is cleared, the building is demolished and a new building is constructed. This building is either put as an RSO or the owner makes some of the units for low income tenants (affordable housing) as is not put under the RSO.
After learning all of this useful info that most of us students had never heard of before, we were able to explore the rest of the building. The trip ended up being a success and we were able to learn things that can be of very good use for us.