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With the escalating costs of energy, landlords, tenants and homeowners alike have taken an interest in all things energy efficient. A number of Web sites, such as the U.S. Department of Energy and Home Energy Magazine, provide helpful and relevant information. The U.S. Dept.of Energy provides a Consumer's Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewal Energy. Some of the information you'll find includes:

  • Energy conservation and efficiency programs
  • Information on the ENERGY STAR program which reduces energy use through the use of efficient energy products such as lights and appliances
  • Weatherization assistance and solar energy systems
  • Financial programs to assist with the costs of home energy audits and to help pay for home energy efficiencies
  • New York Energy Smart Loan Fund to help pay for energy improvements.

Additional resources are:

Weatherization Assistance Program for single family and multi-family homes

Con Edison
Theodore Fremd Avenue
Rye, New York 10580
Tel: (800) 75-CONED (1-800-752-6633)

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
17 Columbus Circle
Albany, New York 12203
Tel: (518) 862-1090

“Green Technology” refers to making buildings and properties as energy efficient and environmentally clean as possible. This is a trend that is growing in usage and popularity. Green technology sometimes requires up front investment, but it has long-term benefits both financially and environmentally.

For more information about these technologies see the Global Warming section of our Web site. Other sites to visit are Enterprise Community Partners, Enterprise Green Communities and the Local Initiatives Support Corp. Green Development Center. Enterprise helps build fair and affordable housing for low-income Americans by providing financing and expertise to community and housing developers. Enterprise Community Partners is a national nonprofit that provides loans, grants and information resources. LISC's Green Development Center provides financial resources, technical information,partnership opportunities and education to support the use of green design, construction and management principles in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

Eviction prevention

If you are in danger of being evicted from your apartment, be sure to seek help.  You can contact one of several not-for-profit agencies in Westchester. The agencies below assist income-eligible families in the likelihood of an eviction from their apartments or homes. This 

Financial assistance is generally limited to one month’s support in a 12-month period, and the family must demonstrate they have the ability to pay their rent going forward. These organizations can help with:

  • One-time rent payment to your landlord or mortgage company
  • Assistance with broker’s fee or security deposit for a permanent new apartment
  • Legal services and support to resolve disputes with landlords
  • Tenant and landlord meditation
  • Utility shut off prevention

Catholic Charities (Back rent and limited utilities assistance)
Yonkers Office:
204 Hawthorne Avenue
Yonkers, New York 10705
Tel: (914) 476-2700

Port Chester Office:
22 Don Bosco Place
Port Chester, New York 10573
Tel: (914) 939-0547

Mount Vernon United Tenants (Back rent, utility assistance and legal counseling)
40 South First Avenue
Mt. Vernon, New York 10550
Tel: (914) 699-1114
E-mail: mvut@erols.com

Washingtonville Housing Alliance (Back rent and legal counseling)
136 Library Lane
Mamaroneck, New York 10543
Tel: (914) 698-4299

Westchester Mediation Center of CLUSTER  (Back rent assistance)
Main Offices
20 South Broadway
Yonkers, New York 10701
Tel: (914) 963-6440

Westchester County Department of Social Services (Back rent assistance)
85 Court Street
White Plains, New York 10601
Tel: (914) 995-5889

Westchester Hispanic Coalition (Back rent)
46 Waller Avenue
White Plains, New York 10605
Tel: (914) 948-8466
E-mail: whc10605@aol.com 

Westchester Residential Opportunities (Back rent, utility assistance and legal counseling)
470 Mamaroneck Avenue – Suite 470
White Plains, New York 10605
Tel: (914) 428-4507

Human Development Services of Westchester, Inc.
Neighborhood Preservation Company Program
28 Adee Street
Port Chester, New York 10573
Tel: (914) 939-2005

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (Legal services for eviction prevention proceedings)
90 Maple Avenue
White Plains, New York 10601
Tel: (914) 949-1305

The Emergency Tenants Protection Act of 1974 (ETPA) established a County Rent Guidelines Board which sets the rent adjustments for renewal and vacancy leases in ETPA covered apartments. For a building to be covered by ETPA, it must be located in a municipality that has adopted the Emergency Tenants Protection Act. ETPA is a state law which provides for rent stabilization and also provides other protections to tenants besides limitation on the amount of rent.

Which communities have adopted ETPA and how many apartment units are required to be included in this law?
Communities that have adopted ETPA and the minimum number of units in a building to require ETPA coverage:

  • Croton (50)
  • Dobbs Ferry (6)
  • Eastchester (6)
  • Greenburgh (6)
  • Harrison (6)
  • Hastings (6)  
  • Irvington (20)
  • Larchmont (6)
  • Mamaroneck Town (6)
  • Mount Kisco (16)
  • Mount Vernon (6)
  • New Rochelle (6)
  • Pleasantville (20)
  • Port Chester (12)
  • Sleepy Hollow (10)
  • Tarrytown (6)
  • White Plains (6)
  • Yonkers (6)

What exactly is rent control?
Rent control limits the rent an owner may charge for an apartment and restricts the right of any owner to evict tenants. Some municipalities adopted rent control for apartments built before 1947. These controls apply to tenants who have not moved from a rent controlled apartment since July 1, 1971. Other increases can occur when the landlord undertakes major repairs, when services are increased with the tenant’s consent, or when the property is not yielding a 7.5 percent return. Communities with rent controlled apartments are:

  • Ardsley
  • Dobbs Ferry
  • Eastchester
  • Greenburgh
  • Harrison
  • Hastings
  • Larchmont
  • Mamaroneck Town
  • Mamaroneck Village
  • Mount Vernon
  • New Rochelle
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Tarrytown
  • Tuckahoe
  • White Plains
  • Yonkers

Senior Citizen or Diability Rent Increase Exemption Program

The Rent Increase Exemption Program provides an exemption from rent increases to Westchester tenants:
• Who are 62 years of age or older or disabled (see definitions)
• Who live in a rent-regulated apartment
• Whose annual household income qualifies (see Definition of maximum income)
• Whose rent has been increased and represents more than one third (1/3) of the total household income


Tenants who live in private homes, Public Housing Authority Residences or receive Section 8 rental subsidies do not qualify for this benefit.

 

To apply for rent increase exemption follow the instructions in the Application.  Also see the fact sheets for Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons.

 

Where can I get further information about these programs?
These are state programs. Contact the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal: Rent Stabilization/Control in their White Plains office at (914) 948-4434.

James Varrick, Mt. Vernon

Renters who need financial assistance to meet their monthly rent payments can seek help through one of three housing programs. Income is an important measure of whether you may qualify for this assistance. 

What is Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?
Section 8 is a federal rental assistance program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) but administered by local offices. It is not an emergency assistance program and applicants may wait a considerable amount of time for assistance. There are 17 Section 8 program offices in Westchester County. Each office is an independent program with its own waiting list for assistance, program guidelines and areas of assistance. If you live in an area with a local Section 8 program, they may be the program that can assist you the quickest. But all programs may not have open waiting lists.

Please note: As of April 1, 2011, the Westchester Section 8 Program is administered by CVR Associates.

The housing choice voucher program is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirement of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.

The owner or landlord must agree to rent under the program. This unit may be the family’s present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the Section 8 program administrators.

A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the Section 8 program PHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program. Under certain circumstances, if authorized by the Section 8 program, a family may use its voucher to purchase a modest home.

Who can I contact for more information and assistance?
Felicia Ramos, Director
Westchester Section 8 Program
112 East Post Road, 1st Floor
White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 995-2415

What is the Housing Opportunities for Persons With HIV+/AIDS?
HOPWA is a federally funded program which can help to fund rental assistance or rent subsidies and needed services. The HOPWA program is designed to assist eligible individuals and families who are currently living in their apartments and are threatened with the loss of their housing because more than 50% of their income goes to pay rent or have unstable and inappropriate living conditions for their illness.

The Office of New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene contracts with Lifting Up Westchester formerly known as Grace Church Community Center in White Plains to administer the HOPWA program which is available to all county residents. This is not an emergency program. Applicants may wait a considerable amount of time for assistance.

Who can I contact for more information and assistance?
Barbara Bento-Fleming, Director of Housing Services
Lifting Up Westchester
85 Orchard Street
White Plains, New York 10603
(914) 949-0925 

Programs are available to landlords to help them repair their rental housing. Low-interest rehabilitation loans are available from the Community Development Block Grant Program, with similar programs available in local municipalities. 

In addition, some communities make the loans available only in targeted neighborhoods and a proportion of the tenants in the building must be within low- and moderate-income limits. Community Development offices are located in the following communities:

  • White Plains
  • Yonkers
  • Mount Vernon
  • Peekskill
  • New Rochelle