MELS Housing Discrimination Webinar Now Online

April 15, 2021 // 0 Comments

 By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Hundreds of DC 37 members joined the MELS Housing Discrimination webinar April 14.  DC 37 housing experts, along with Human Rights Specialist Gui Yang from the NYC Human Rights Commission and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, shared advice on how to fight housing discrimination. A recording of the event is now available online: www.bit.ly/3e1aFGR “New York is a city of renters,” said Bill Whalen, chief counsel and director of DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services. “We are seeing successful turnouts for our virtual webinars. MELS continues to present information our members and retirees can use. The housing discrimination webinar helps members learn their rights as tenants, the various forms of discrimination, and their legal options should they experience housing discrimination.” Whalen added, “If a DC 37 member believes they are being [More...]


April 13, 2021 // 0 Comments

COVID-19 VACCINES LET DC 37 BOOK YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE APPOINTMENTS: DC 37 can help you book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Please fill out this form and a DC 37 representative will call you to book your appointment. What you need to know: * To confirm eligibility, you can check nyc.gov/covidvaccinedistribution. * Proof of eligibility required: 1. Members who are eligible by virtue of job function must bring proof of employment. This can include an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a pay stub. 2. Members who are eligible by virtue of underlying conditions or comorbidities will be asked to provide proof of NYC residence and will be asked to attest to their condition during the scheduling process. 3. Members who are eligible by virtue of age will be asked to provide proof of NYC residence and proof of age. * Employees are granted 4 hours [More...]


March 16, 2021 // 0 Comments

Learn how NYC Rent Freeze Programs will affect you. MELS housing experts and lawyers will explain rent law changes and programs such as Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption, Disability Rent Increase Exemption, the online application process, updates for NYC Tenants COVID-19 Eviction Restrictions, filing a Tenant Declaration, and more. Register at www.dc37mels.com to get a Meeting ID by e-mail. For more information, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815-1111 or email: MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net ### SAVE the DATES for these two upcoming MELS events: The MELS Housing Discrimination webinar with the NYC Commission on Human Rights on April 14 @ 5:30 p.m. Register at www.DC37MELS.comMELS webinar on Bankruptcy – An Opportunity For A Fresh Start, on April 28 @ 5:30 p.m.Register at www.DC37MELS.com. For more information, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 [More...]


February 18, 2021 // 0 Comments

POLITICAL ACTION SPECIAL ELECTION FEB. 23: DC 37 members are making calls together live on Zoom! There’s a lot at stake for us in 2021 and we need to make sure we have representatives on the New York City Council who will have our backs when we need them to. Please join us for a virtual phone bank to urge our DC 37 sisters and brothers to vote for Selvena Brooks-Powers for City Council in the 31st Council District. You can sign up for one of the phone banking shifts taking place today through Thursday, Feb. 18 and on Special Election Day, Tuesday, Feb. 23. Even if you’ve never volunteered with us before, using the virtual phone bank is easy and convenient. The time you spend volunteering can make a big difference in improving the lives of DC 37 members. Please sign up now for a phone banking shift at: https://www.mobilize.us/afscmedc37/event/374983/                 [More...]


December 18, 2020 // 0 Comments

The New York State Dept. of Homes and Community Renewal’s COVID Rent Relief Program application period is open Dec. 18 through Feb. 1, 2021. Previous applicants do not need to reapply. More Information COVID 19 – HCR PROGRAM NOTICES More information For more information, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815-1111 or [More...]

MELS Holds Housing Rights Webinar

October 2, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37’s Municipal Employees Legal Services held a Renters’ and Tenants’ Housing Rights webinar on Zoom with housing experts and union lawyers on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Hundreds of union members joined the afterwork online session to watch MELS lawyers present the latest updates on tenants’ rights and Governor Cuomo’s eviction moratorium. “As courts begin re-opening, including NYC Housing Court, we want to help members facing eviction and harassment during this pandemic. We believe our expert legal staff can help them learn how they could remain in their homes,” said MELS Director and Chief Counsel Bill Whalen. “This is one of the many legal services we are happy to provide for our members free of charge as part of their union dues and benefits.” MELS lawyers also explained new COVID-19 defenses to nonpayment, rent overcharges, preferential [More...]

Join the Campaign to Support Tenant Rights

April 30, 2019 // 0 Comments

By RUDY OROZCO Affordable housing is one of the most critical issues in New York. As part of the Housing Justice for All coalition, DC 37 supports an Albany legislative agenda that would expand tenant rights, stabilize neighborhoods and eliminate the control corporate landlords have over housing throughout the state. The coalition is pushing the state legislature to pass nine bills before the session ends at the end of June. Each bill helps protect tenant rights by limiting the ability of landlords to gouge prices and raise rents exorbitantly. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido noted our union’s progressive history and its commitment to helping all of New York’s working families. “We have always been concerned with more than wages, working conditions and pensions for our members,” he said.  “The fight for stronger tenant rights and more affordable housing is among our [More...]

Welcome to DC 37

November 26, 2018 // 0 Comments

At Meetings Around the City, Public Service Workers Are Signing Up With the Union By GREGORY N, HEIRES DC 37 continues to sign up new members under our Leading the Way campaign to promote the benefits of union membership and encourage rank-and-file participation. Last month, DC 37 held five meetings with mid-level city employees whose misclassified job titles had kept them out of the union during the Bloomberg administration but are now eligible to join or re-join. A sixth meeting was also held in November for City University of New York employees, who recently won a new contract. Union Offers Job Security Many workers who signed union membership cards at the meetings indicated that job security was their top reason for joining. Monifa Thomas, a 20-year city employee who is now a senior project manager at the Administration for Children’s Services, described job security as “an [More...]

Housing Program Marks 13th Year

August 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS Flooding downpours did not stop members from attending the annual August housing fair at the union hall, where many met real estate professionals who offer mortgages, inspections, credit counseling, and other housing-related services. “I came because I’m looking to purchase my first home,” said SSEU Local 371 member Shermaine Taylor. “I got lots of great information on grants and mortgages and even student loan forgiveness. Everything I learned at the union I’m sharing with my coworkers.” “Thirteen years ago, under the leadership of Lillian Roberts, I was tasked to put together a housing program for members,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. At the time more than 300 DC 37 families were living in homeless shelters. The city’s affordable housing stock dwindled as the Bloomberg administration ushered in a luxury housing construction boom. [More...]

Burning Down the House

June 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

By JEREMY JOHN On April 25, Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Trump administration, pulled the curtain back to what typifies the worst aspects of the regressive views shared by the alt-right extremists now in power since the November 2016 election. His proposed scheme, called the Make Affordable Housing Work Act, deals a brutal blow to decades of efforts by previous administrations — both Republican and Democrat — to create affordable housing and to maintain and expand the social safety net for millions of vulnerable Americans who need a decent place to live. Under the proposal, millions of families living in subsidized public housing will see their rents rise from 30 percent of adjusted income to 35 percent of their higher annual gross income. This subtle distinction makes a powerful difference. By changing the rules on income, the increase in reality is [More...]