Tenants of real estate mogul Sonny Tran are demanding meetings with two banks — Dime and Modern — that have underwritten his local building purchases and what rent-stabilized tenants describe as a siege of potentially illegal construction and dangerous living conditions. The two banks are on the city’s list of designated banks, and organizers also called on the city to divest from for-profit banks and move their deposits to a public bank.
The Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) is a solution to maintaining affordable housing stock amid a housing crisis throughout the state, advocates say. The act gives tenants the chance to make an offer on a building before a landlord sells to an outside party.
As soaring housing costs continue to push New Yorkers out of their neighborhoods and the state, members of the Housing Justice for All and New York City Community Land Initiative coalitions rallied with elected officials, tenants and other advocates on Thursday to demand passage of the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) in this year’s state legislative session. The rally followed on the heels of a new Community Service Society poll that found an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers support TOPA Legislation.
Community groups and elected officials are kicking off a campaign to pass the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, or TOPA.
The People’s Bank Act, a package of bills that would lay the foundation for a public bank in New York City, was officially reintroduced today for the 2024-2025 New York City Council legislative session.
The Interest on Lawyer Account provides tens of millions of dollars to fund legal help for New Yorkers who can’t afford it, According to the fund’s director, however, Hochul’s budget proposal would remove about a third of the cash it has available, imperiling its financial health. Legal organizations that benefit from its grants warn they may have to cut services.
A recent report by the New Economy Project has shed light on major disparities in banking practices within New York City, revealing that big banks holding public money have been investing unfairly, particularly leaving neighborhoods of color behind. The nonprofit, along with state and local coalitions, have been actively educating the public on the benefits of public banks.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing a rule on overdraft fees that would benefit New Yorkers. The rule closes a loophole exempting overdraft fees from provisions in the Truth in Lending Act.
“We applaud the CFPB for issuing a strong proposed rule to crack down on big banks’ predatory overdraft fees, which have long exploited low-income New Yorkers and extracted massive sums from low-income neighborhoods and communities of color…”
Attorneys from New Economy Project, Quinn Emanuel, and the Legal Aid Society won a unanimous decision from a state appeals court giving Harlem resident Sharae Banks, and potentially thousands like her, a new chance to challenge potentially unscrupulous debt collectors.