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City of Rochester Seeks Residents’ Input Regarding Proposed Legislation to Reduce Speedy Eviction of Tenants

Carol Elizabeth Owens
carolelizabeth@minorityreporter.net

The economic pinch poses an even greater
challenge for those who face possible eviction.

Public protests have been held in the City of Rochester over the last several months to raise community awareness of ‘slumlords’ and more upstanding property owners who seek to quickly displace tenants from their rented homes/apartments without meeting the ‘certificate of occupancy’ (C of O) requirement; or, at times, without a ‘good cause’.

City Council Vice President Mary Lupien has introduced a proposed new law designed to offer a measure of protection to tenants against eviction proceedings filed by local slumlords and/or landlords who lack certificates of occupancy or good cause evicting local resident tenants.

Lupien’s proposed new legislation is formally titled the “Neighborhood & Business Development Introductory No. 94 — the “Eviction Reduction Act.” Also, it is alternatively referred to as the “Good Cause Eviction Act” (GCEA).

Simply summarized, proposed local law #94 would accomplish two (2) leading objectives: (1) prevent landlords or ‘slumlords’ from being able to seek eviction of tenants under circumstances where the landlord (or ‘slumlord’) is in non-compliance with local law(s) addressing the certificate of occupancy requirement; and (2) require landlords (or ‘slumlords’) to demonstrate that eviction proceedings against tenants are based upon “cause” / “good cause” with adequate notice to property occupants.

A public hearing about the GCEA is scheduled to take place on Thu., Mar. 30, 2022 from 5:05p to 7:00p. This hearing is open to all city residents and shall occur via YouTube with speakers facilitated using Zoom.

Indeed, housing is one of the most important aspects of community life– everyone needs a place to call home, to raise children, to rest their heads at night.

This meeting affords our community’s members with an opportunity for their voices to be heard on this fundamental topic relating to the importance housing– and facilitating a conversation about if, how and when tenants should be removed from occupancy of housing.

It is also important for landlords (or ‘slumlords’) to attend, as they will hopefully learn more about ways in which the community would like to see accountability about housing standards and law(s) applicable to maintaining viable housing units for the benefit of the greater Rochester community.

People who want to share their comments and concerns on this topic can sign up to participate live via Zoom or submit written comments via email, mail or fax. Note: All written and e-mail correspondence will be shared in entirety with city councilmembers prior to the hearing along with a general summary of the comments.

To register for the Hearing, participants can either e-mail council@cityofrochester.gov or call 585-428-7538 by no later 1:00 p.m. on the day of the event.

Participants will need to provide their first and last name, phone number, address, and e-mail address. Only the names of the participants will be shared publicly during the Hearing.

Written correspondence can be mailed to or dropped off at: City Council; Rochester City Hall; 30 Church Street – Room 301A; Rochester, New York 14614-1290. Comments can also be faxed to: 585.428.632

Individuals who choose to participate live will have three minutes to speak. Participants are asked to refrain from using explicit or derogatory language and to address the Council with the same respect they would expect to receive.

Interested participants are strongly encouraged to review the proposed legislation prior to the forum. A copy of the proposed legislation can be obtained by contacting City Council at (585) 428-7538.

The public forum will be livestreamed on the City Council’s YouTube Channel. More information about the public forum can be found at cityofrochester.gov/publicmeetings.