Pro Bono and Community Service Committee’s Pro Bono Clinics Serve Numerous Community Members in September and October

AABANY’s Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee would like to thank everyone who attended the second and third hybrid Manhattan pro bono clinics in September and October, as well as the soft opening of the Queens pro bono clinic this past Saturday, Oct. 30. The three clinics assisted a total of fifty-five (55) clients, who sought advice on a range of topics, including housing law, immigration, elder law, loans and contracts, marriage and divorce, estates law and drafting of wills and powers of attorney, discrimination, 9/11 compensation, and fraud. PBCS and AABANY are grateful to the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) and Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) for co-sponsoring and hosting these clinics. 

The clinics for the past two months could not have happened without the gracious help of many AABANY members and committees. During the September pro bono clinic, in collaboration with AABANY’s Bankruptcy Committee, PBCS provided a “Know Your Rights” presentation on the topic of bankruptcy and consumer debt. During the October clinics, Rina Gurung and Kevin Hsi, two of the three co-chairs of AABANY’s Government Service and Public Interest Committee, and Zhixian (Jessie) Liu, a co-chair of AABANY’s Immigration Committee, helped PBCS out by volunteering to see clients for one-on-one informational consultations. Thanks to AABANY’s Committees for their camaraderie!

At the pro bono clinics, PBCS volunteers use quick issue-spotting skills to help members of the AAPI community and those with limited English proficiency know what their rights are. For instance, while answering housing questions, a volunteer discovered that a 70-year-old couple living at a rent-stabilized apartment was eligible for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exception (SCRIE). SCRIE is a program that allows qualified tenants to have their rent frozen at their current level and be exempt from future rent increases. This is crucial since most seniors depend on their fixed income. If their rent goes up, qualified SCRIE tenants do not have to pay the higher rent, as the City will pay the landlord the difference between the current rent and the future rent. The 70-year-old couple who came into the PBCS clinic will receive assistance from AAFE to apply for SCRIE. 

In order to be eligible for SCRIE, an applicant must be 62 years or older, have less than $50,000 in household income, spend more than 1/3 of monthly income on rent, and reside in a NYC rent-stabilized apartment, rent-controlled apartment, rent-regulated hotel or single room occupancy unit, Mitchell-Lama development, Limited Dividend Housing Company development, Redevelopment Company development, or Housing Development Fund Company development. Senior citizens who own homes, condominiums or private non-government supervised co-ops may also be eligible for SCRIE. To learn more about SCRIE, see https://access.nyc.gov/programs/senior-citizens-rent-increase-exemption-%E2%80%8Bscrie/.

To learn more about the PBCS Committee and its work, click here and here. The next hybrid legal clinics will take place on Saturday, November 6, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at AAFE, 2 Allen Street (2nd Floor), New York, NY 10002; and Saturday, November 13, 2021, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at CCBA, 62 Mott Street (2nd Floor), New York, NY 10013. For up-to-date details about the clinic and other events, please check PBCS’s event calendar.

And as always, we are always looking for volunteers to help us out! 

To volunteer at CCBA’s Clinics – https://airtable.com/shrQFecVpU1u5ltAy

To volunteer at AAFE’s Clinics – https://airtable.com/shrtPeVTibQA9qNgD   

AABANY thanks the following September 18, 2021 Manhattan CCBA Clinic Volunteers:

AABANY  AAFE
Asako Aiba*
Chao Yung (Kloe) Chiu
Megan Gao
Chenxin (Sarah) Li
Eugene Kim
Jason Kuo
Judy (Ming Chu) Lee
Karen Lin
Erxian (Estelle) Lu*
Jayashree Mitra
Kensing Ng*
Kwok Ng
Grace Pan
Anthony Park*
S. Yan Sin
Tina Song
May Wong
Courina Youlisa*
Serena Zou^

AABANY thanks the following October 16, 2021 Manhattan CCBA Clinic Volunteers:

AABANY  AAFE
Xuanyou (Alicia) ChenLuna Fu^
Francis Chin
Yoonhee Kim*
Judy (Ming Chu) Lee*
Karen Lin
Zhixian Liu
Erxian (Estelle) Lu^*
Megan Gao
Kwok Ng
Kendall Park^*
S. Yan Sin
Johnny Thach
Annie Tsao
Bill Yang^*
Teresa Wai Yee Yeung^
May Wong
Meng Zhang*

AABANY thanks the following October 30, 2021 Queens Clinic Volunteers:

AABANY  AAFE
Esther Choi^Lilian Cheung
Megan GaoLuna Fu
Rina GurungGabriel Hisugan
Kevin Hsi
Eugene Kim
Kendall Park^*
Rachel Ji-Young Yoo*
May Wong

^Non-attorney volunteers

*Remote volunteers

AABANY Offers Application Aid to LEP Applicants Seeking Section 8 Housing and Emergency Rental Assistance

volunteer assisting with application

AABANY announced on May 28, 2021, that through the Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee, Government Service & Public Interest (GSPI) Committee and the Student Outreach Committee (SOC), it established a phone line to aid limited English proficient (LEP) applicants in applying for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, also known as Section 8. Section 8 is a government rental housing program that allows low-income families, the elderly and disabled to rent privately-owned and safe housing. Applicants will be selected by the New York State Homes & Community Renewal (NYSHCR) agency’s Section 8 Voucher Waitlist Lottery. The deadline for application is May 28, 11:59 AM ET. As for ERAP, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is offering a program that provides rental and utility assistance to eligible New York residents who owe arrears. Households will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as funds remain available.

When applying for housing and aid, many LEP applicants have had difficulty finding language assistance. AABANY hopes to help LEP applicants who do not have electronic access in completing the application by telephone. Interested applicants may contact (929) 251-3022 or probono@aabany.org to schedule a time with an AABANY volunteer to receive aid in contacting HCR and the OTDA.

To view AABANY’s flyer about the Section 8 Waitlist Lottery, click on the image above.

To read more about AABANY’s efforts to aid the Chinese LEP community, click here.

Working Together to Serve Diverse Communities: A Virtual Resource Fair

Nine federal agencies will share information concerning their missions and available programs and resources. This information-packed event offers a roadmap to access federal services, to build stronger relationships, and to explore ways that we can work together to better serve Black, Latino, and other communities of color. 

No registration is required. The resource fair will take place over the course of two days — Wednesday, August 5th from 10:00AM to 4:00PM CT and Thursday, August 6th from 10:00AM to 4:00PM CT. Additional information, including an agenda and speaker biographies, is available from the Federal Trade Commission at this link

Email questions or suggestions to: WorkingTogether@ftc.gov.

2016 NAPABA Convention – Housing Open!

2016 NAPABA Convention
San Diego, November 3-6, 2016

Housing for the 2016 NAPABA Convention is now open! Reserve your room at the official NAPABA Convention Hotel, the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

Hilton San Diego Bayfront | 1 Park Blvd.

Standard Room: $239 single/double plus applicable taxes & fees

Online Reservations | Reservation by phone: 1-800-HILTONS (identify yourself as a NAPABA attendee)

  • Cut-off date for the NAPABA block is October 10, 2016.
  • After the cutoff date or after the block has been filled, rooms may still be available, but will be sold at the prevailing rate.
  • All rates include complimentary in-room internet access.
  • A periodic review of the room block will be conducted to ensure that attendees do not reserve multiple rooms. Any attendee that reserves 2 rooms or more may have their additional reservations removed with notice.
  • Guests may cancel their own reservations directly with the hotel at least 72 hours prior to arrival in order to avoid a charge of one night’s room and tax.

Check-In Time: 4:00 pm | Check-Out Time: 12:00 pm

Self Parking: $28/day | Valet Parking $40/day

Upcoming Pro Bono Opportunities with AABANY

AABANY SCRIE/DRIE CLINIC: Dec. 2

Assist elderly and disabled tenants complete applications for Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE).  These programs offer a lifeline to vulnerable populations who risk losing housing.  Volunteers will receive training before assisting applicants.  Bar admission and language skills are not required.  To participate, please click here to register.

When: December 2 at 2:00PM
Where: Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (62 Mott St. 2nd Floor, NY, NY 10013)


AABANY Housing Part Petition Clinic: Dec. 16

Assist tenants suffering from lack of heat or other emergency conditions draft pro se petitions against landlords for housing repairs.  Volunteers will receive a brief training before assisting tenants.  Bar admission and language skills not required.  To participate, please click here to register.

When: December 16, 2015 at 6:00PM
Where: Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, 2nd Fl. (62 Mott St. 2nd Floor, NY, NY 10013)


Queens Legal Services (QLS) Housing Part Petition Clinic

Assist tenants suffering from lack of heat or other emergency conditions draft pro se petitions against landlords for housing repairs.  Clinics will take place on the 4th Wednesday of every other month from 6:00PM – 8:30PM.  Bar admission not required.  Language skills not required, however the ability to speak Spanish or other languages may be useful.  To participate, contact Heejung Kook (hkook@lsny.org).

2015 Dates: October 28; December (TBD)

2016 Dates: February 24; April 27; June 29; August 24

Where: Central Astoria (2569 38th St., Ground Fl., Astoria, NY 11103)