Proactive Outreach to Reduce Harassment of NYC Rental Housing Tenants
Fellows: Jerica Copeny, Samantha Fu, Rebecca Johnson, Teng Ye
Mentor: Joe Walsh
Project Manager: Mirian Lima
Project Partner: New York City Mayor's Public Engagement Unit
Many tenants in New York City are vulnerable to or have experienced harassment by their landlord. Some landlords try to pressure their tenants, primarily those who are low-income and live in rent-stabilized housing, to move out using tactics that range from ignoring maintenance requests to overt intimidation and illegal eviction. In 2015, the City of New York created the Tenant Support Unit (TSU), a part of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit, to educate tenants about their rights through proactive phone and in-person outreach, and connect tenants in need of assistance to City resources, including free legal support and home repairs. Using a variety of data sources, including past violations, 311 calls, Census data, and past outreach results, we will build models that help TSU predict which tenants may be at risk of harassment. TSU will use the results to better target outreach to tenants in need of assistance and evaluate areas for future outreach.