About

New York City has some of the strongest rent regulation laws in the country; however, they are also some of the most complex and difficult to decipher. When tenants don’t fully understand their housing rights, it’s difficult to take full advantage of the protections that rent regulation offers. Housing Literacy is a two-year project intended to increase tenants’ housing literacy by identifying particularly important aspects of rent regulation laws and developing resources aimed at helping tenants better understand the City’s rent regulation laws.

The central goal of Housing Literacy is to develop annotations of the three most common documents that renters encounter when signing a lease for a rent-stabilized unit: a standard rent-stabilized lease, a renewal lease, and a lease rider for rent-stabilized tenants. The annotations highlight specific areas of these documents that tenants should read and understand carefully, point them to resources so that they can learn more about these issues, and give them basic knowledge that will empower them to better address their housing-related issues.

For tenants at risk of displacement in the midst of the housing crisis, Housing Literacy is a platform that empowers them to take full advantage of the rights they already have and makes them aware of matters that affect their housing realities. Housing Literacy’s larger aim is to support fair housing practices among diverse communities in a changing urban landscape.

The project lead of Housing Literacy is the Center for the Humanities, Digital Publics Fellow Kasey Zapatka. He is a doctoral student in sociology at The City University of New York, CUNY and encourages any feedback on this project.

He can be reached by email at kzapatka@gradcenter.cuny.edu. Be sure to check out many of the other rent-stabilized resources identified below.

More info

New York City has some of the strongest rent regulation laws in the country; however, they are also some of the most complex and difficult to decipher. When tenants don’t fully understand their housing rights, it’s difficult to take full advantage of the protections that rent regulation offers them. Housing Literacy is a two-year project intended to increase tenants’ housing literacy by working with advocates to identify particularly important aspects of rent regulation laws to develop and share resources with communities throughout NYC.

What we do

Read THE NEED FOR HOUSING LITERACY here, where Digital Publics Fellow Kasey Zapatka outlines his project "Housing Literacy" and provides an overview of NYC rent regulation and tenants' rights, along with the history and current context of rent regulation in New York City.

Participants

Organizers