Center for Urban Pedagogy Collaborate with Brooklyn Community Bail and New York City Housing Authority

Keep Your Family’s Home

New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) provides a vital affordable housing option for low-income families in NYC. But there are a lot of rules NYCHA tenants must follow if they want to stay in their homes. If a family member wants to move in or if the leaseholder passes away or moves out, families have to go through confusing processes to obtain permission from NYCHA to stay in their homes. There are multiple steps, documents, and short deadlines that families have to navigate alone, often for the first time, and without the help of a lawyer.

CUP collaborated with the Housing Court Answers and designer Boyeon Choi to create Keep Your Family’s Home, a guide that breaks down the steps to get permission for a family member to move in and the process to keep the family home if the head of household passes away or moves out. The booklet shows a series of scenarios, and gives answers to questions tenants might have when interacting with the NYCHA Office, along with the precise deadlines for both processes so tenants know how and when to move forward.

Keep Your Family’s Home launched in May 2017 at Housing Court Answers’ annual housing advocacy conference. Housing Court Answers and their partners are distributing thousands of these guides throughout New York City.

Get your copy here!

Bail’s Set… What’s Next?

For friends and family members of a person who’s been arrested, the act of paying bail is a stressful and confusing process. Beyond finding the money cover the cost of bail, payers also have to decide how to pay. There are usually two options: cash bail or a bail bond. But there are big differences between paying with cash and paying with a bond—and people have important rights when paying with either. Those who don’t understand their rights are often taken advantage of and lose more money. This adds to the injustice of the bail system, which sends about 45,000 New Yorkers to jail each year simply because they can’t afford to pay bail.

CUP collaborated with Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and designer Alex Tatusian to create Bail’s Set, What’s Next?, a guide that helps bail payers understand the difference between cash bail and bail bonds, and navigate the process of paying. This booklet uses a series of scenarios to help individuals make informed decisions about how to pay based on their own financial situations. It also includes information on how and where to pay, when payers are entitled to refunds, how payers can try to protect themselves from illegally high fees.

Get your copy of the booklet here.

Funding Support

Support for the project was provided by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support was provided by Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Antonio Reynoso.