Legal Empowerment & Assistance Program (LEAP)

Each year, RiseBoro's Legal Empowerment & Assistance Program (LEAP) successfully works with hundreds of residents to stabilize their housing. The program focuses on the preservation of affordable housing and eviction defense. Our program combines legal representation, tenant organizing, case management, educational outreach, and entitlement advocacy to prevent homelessness. Through our organizing, case management, and legal component, LEAP is able to focus on the preservation of low income housing and the prevention of displacement in the community. Through these services we are able to effectuate a comprehensive combination of strategies designed to address a full range of tenants' rights issues, including empowering tenants with knowledge on how to effectively enforce their rights with or without litigation.

Our services include:

  • Legal representation and assistance
  • Tenant organizing
  • Case management
  • Education

Legal Representation and Assistance

RiseBoro LEAP attorneys provide direct legal representation and advocacy for tenants who are at risk of eviction as a result of non-payment or holdover proceedings brought by their landlords.  Our attorneys also represent tenants in HP (Housing Part) actions for tenants whose landlords fail to make necessary repairs to apartments in disrepair.

Tenant Organizing

RiseBoro LEAP organizers have worked with tenant groups in more than 150 buildings representing over one thousand apartments to ensure that tenants know their rights, can remain in their apartments, pay a legal rent amount, and receive repairs and services. We consistently succeed in mediating access dates for repairs, ensuring code violations are corrected, and organizing tenants. Tenant organizing is an effective strategy when entire buildings are experiencing lapses in essential services, have trouble getting basic repairs, or are facing heavy pressure to move out or make a risky relocation deal. We believe that in unity there is strength.

Our organizers assist in the following areas:

  • Getting repairs and services
  • Anti-buyout and anti-harassment campaigns
  • Ensuring proper lease renewals
  • Disputing rent overcharges
  • Assisting tenants in forming an association
  • Advocacy in fair hearings, DHCR complaints, and pro se tenant actions in housing court

Case Management

Case managers file complaints with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) regarding lease renewals, overcharges, and reduced services, all of which are vital in establishing the legal collectible rent for a given apartment. They also file Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) applications and monitor these cases to ensure that tenants' rents are frozen and remain affordable over the course of many lease renewals.  

Education

RiseBoro LEAP regularly reaches out to the community to educate families about their rights as tenants. Educational outreach consists of the dissemination of critical tenants' rights information to our clients and the community at large by utilizing workshops, larger community meetings, tenant association meetings, and distribution of written materials.

Contact Information

Contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:
T: (718) 366-3800
Email: leap@riseboro.org

Location of our LEAP service-providing office:

Bushwick

217 Wyckoff Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11237
T: (718) 366-3800
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