Commissioner Darryl Towns Hosts Open House at the Westchester Regional Office of Rent Administration (ORA)

Under Governor Cuomo's Leadership, Rent Laws Were Strengthened in 2011 to Protect the Mid-Hudson Region's 30,000 Rent-Regulated Tenants

NEW YORK, NY (04/20/2012)(readMedia)-- New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) Commissioner/CEO Darryl C. Towns today hosts an Open House and community re-orientation for rent-regulated tenants, owners, community leaders, clergy and elected officials at the Regional Office of Rent Administration (ORA).

Where: 75 South Broadway, 3rd Floor,

White Plains, New York

When: ORA Q&A

Today, April 20 at 12:00 p.m.

HCR Commissioner/CEO Towns said, "In 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo led the historic enactment of the state's strongest rent laws since the 1970s, protecting nearly one million working-class New Yorkers. The changes have brought stability to the rent-regulated housing stock, and have reminded New Yorkers how their state government is working for them. We are proud to invite Westchester and Rockland to join us today to see that ORA is ready to protect tenants and inform owners -- working on-site to assist them in over 100 languages."

At the event, HCR is showcasing improved measures to streamline rent-law enforcement, including:

• A Code Red Unit created to expedite cases that involve serious hazardous service complaints which threaten health or safety.

• A restructured ORA Compliance Unit to more efficiently respond to cases of alleged owner non-compliance with agency orders.

• ORA's resources for owners, including information and assistance about required forms, including those for rent rolls, rent registration and maintenance of service.

• Requiring inspectors to receive additional training.

• Plans to upgrade digital platform and information systems.

• Cross-training staff to be well-versed in all aspects of tenant protection.

• Creating the Tenant Protection page on the HCR web site where visitors can easily access information on rent histories, increases, overcharges, reductions, and lease renewals.

Finally, Towns also noted that HCR's newly-created Tenant Protection Unit will ensure that landlords abide by the state's rent laws, with vigorous enforcement and strict penalties for non-compliance and/or fraud.

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