Single Room Occupancy (SRO) housing is an integral part of what remains of the low-income rental market in New York City. Rents for SRO units are lower than other forms of non-subsidized housing simply because they are the most basic form of housing available and a single step above homelessness. Although a dwindling resource, up to 15% of all units available to poor New Yorkers are SROs. Consequently, the loss of SRO units through deregulation, demolition, and illegal conversions has a disproportionate impact on low-income people. Until a significant new form of affordable housing is created and made available to the poorest New Yorkers, MFY will continue to protect the marginalized tenant population living in these increasingly endangered units.
MFY represents tenants in eviction proceedings, preventing the illegal conversion of SRO units, helps tenants to stabilize their income and benefits, and assists city agencies in monitoring SRO compliance with existing law. We also work with groups of tenants and help organize them to take collective action.