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Every year, thousands of young adults move to New York City to go to college, attend graduate school, or start a new career. And every year, the landlords of New York City take advantage of these young renters by overcharging them for rent, subdividing apartments into illegal dorm rooms (i.e. fire traps), and refusing to return large security deposits.
Even if young renters can afford to take the financial hit–thanks to student loans, generous parents, or jobs in the finance sector–this illegal scheme results in the mass displacement of long-term tenants, families, immigrants, and people of color. In this presentation, we will explore how young renters can protect their own interests as well as the interests of the community-at-large. There is a way to be a less terrible gentirifer; every Long Islander who ever intends to rent in New York City should understand how to thwart the fraudulent scheme of which they will unwittingly become a part.
Stephanie is the Director of the Source of Income Unit at the New York City Commission on Human Rights (“Commission”). In her role as Director, Stephanie supervises a team of attorneys and advocates dedicated to enforcing the New York City Human Rights law. Specifically, Stephanie’s team intervenes when brokers and/or owners refuse to rent to homeless families and individuals with housing subsidies provided by the government. Stephanie’s team also handles claims of housing discrimination related to race, disability, national origin, perceived citizenship status, and age.
Prior to joining the Commission, Stephanie represented tenants in affirmative litigation against neglectful and harassing landlords at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (“NYLPI”) and the Urban Justice Center (“UJC”). In group cases on behalf of up to 300 tenants in both state and federal court, Stephanie has compelled owners to restore basic services, cease unlawful discrimination, and remediate indoor toxins such as mold, lead, and asbestos.
A proud graduate of the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island, Stephanie went on to earn her B.A. from Haverford College and her JD from Stanford Law School.
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