Published on February 25, 2009 | by LawNews
Prof. Stefan Krieger in Newsday
Stefan Krieger, Professor of Law and Director Emeritus of Clinical Programs, was quoted in the following Newsday article.
Paterson plans to close Hempstead office for tenant aid
By Laura Rivera
February 24, 2009
Tenants of 10,400 rent-regulated apartments in Nassau will have to schlep to Queens to get to the nearest rent office if a proposal to shut down the Hempstead location goes through.
The offices help tenants file grievances about rent increases, evictions, and repair and maintenance.
Gov. David A. Paterson’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year has put three state housing agency offices on the chopping block – including the one at 50 Clinton St. – to save an estimated $500,000, an agency spokesman said.
Opponents of the closure called the savings a “drop in the bucket” in light of the gaping $14-billion deficit and worried that fewer area tenants would seek assistance if the local office is shuttered. Ultimately, advocates said, closing the offices means renters will be more likely to fall prey to unscrupulous landlords trying to force them out, decreasing the already limited stock of rent-stabilized units and putting more pressure on the state for affordable housing.
“You need to have a place where tenants can feel like they have an advocate,” said Hofstra University law professor Stefan Krieger, director of the law reform advocacy clinic. “That’s what you get with the district rent administration office.”