Neighborhoods and residents in Lower Manhattan were severely affected by the events of September 11, 2001. Many community residents lost their jobs when small businesses closed. Others lost their housing and developed health problems from toxic dust and severe stress. The pace of gentrification in Lower Manhattan increased rapidly after 9/11, threatening the housing of many low-income residents. Now, eleven years later, these communities have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. In the wake of the storm, thousands of people have been left without food, without homes, and without jobs.
With support from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, MFY’s Lower Manhattan Justice Project (LMJP) promotes economic and cultural diversity in Lower Manhattan by increasing access to justice for low- and moderate-income residents and workers. The project focuses on preserving low- and moderate-income communities in Chinatown and the Lower East Side by providing direct legal assistance to residents on housing, employment, consumer and related issues. The project works closely with neighborhood-based associations and tenant groups to improve conditions overall. Additionally, the project assists low- and moderate-income workers in the area with a wide range of employment problems, from accessing Unemployment Insurance benefits to claims for unpaid wages. During the coming months, the LMJP will focus on helping Loewr Manhattan recover from Hurricane Sandy by providing its victims with information, advice, and advocacy regarding replacement Food Stamps, FEMA claims, housing problems, unemployment benefits, and other unmet legal needs.
Educating tenants and workers on their rights is an important part of the Project’s work, and dozens of workshops are held each year at senior centers, libraries, and community centers.
The project is made possible by a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.
To read more about LMJP’s success, click here.