The Problem

Low-income New Yorkers face unsafe housing conditions, pollution and preventable health problems.

Our communities suffer from preventable health problems connected to unsafe housing conditions and pollution, including asthma which is the number one cause of school absences in the city. Green spaces in our neighborhoods are not as plentiful and well-kept as they should be, depriving our children of places to play and grow. Our members regularly experience housing discrimination — based on gender identity, sexual orientation, family makeup, or immigration status. Tenants face difficulties obtaining much-needed repairs from landlords, some of whom aim to push out lower-income tenants and hike up the rent.

See the Solution
The Solution

Organizing tenants for a cleaner, greener New York.

Make the Road New York organizes and builds the leadership of community members who are eager to fight for housing equality and environmental justice. Members meet weekly to discuss troubles with landlords and their rights as tenants, and to organize for safe, affordable housing for our families. Our work spurred the creation of the Alternative Enforcement Program, which ensures repairs in 250 of New York City’s worst buildings every year.

Each year, our attorneys represent hundreds of families in housing court cases involving evictions,  hazardous conditions, and housing discrimination. We routinely support evicted tenants in obtaining waivers of back rent and time to find new apartments to avoid homelessness. Make the Road’s trained Community Health Workers conduct home visits and counseling to support children with asthma. In addition, we work to expand rent regulation and stabilization across the city, which is critical to preserving affordable housing for over a million working class New Yorkers.

tenants or more
receive legal services from MRNY each year to prevent evictions, repair unsafe housing units, and win hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.
Fast Facts
  • After a ten-year fight, we helped pass the Asthma-Free Housing Act which requires landlords to inspect for and address asthma triggers annually.
  • Our trained Community Health Workers conduct 300 home visits each year to help families control their children’s asthma.
  • We  fought for the toughest anti-lead law in the US, resulting in a 56% reduction in childhood lead poisoning.
  • Our work spurred massive investment in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and saved it from harmful development.
Meet Maria

For several years, Maria Castillo’s landlord tried to drive her family out. He forced them to endure unsafe living conditions. They spent winters without heat and hot water. Maria obtained MRNY legal support, and as part of our housing committee, she fought alongside others facing similar harassment. She led rallies, spoke at press conferences, and met with her city council member. Her landlord saw that she wasn’t going away and the harassment finally let up.

Today, Maria and her family continue to live in their home. She is a MRNY leader for tenant rights. “Now I can honestly say that we live with more dignity,” Maria says. “But to live with dignity, you always have to fight for it.”

Help us build a safe, affordable, greener city for all New Yorkers.

Related Press

Make the Road New York

Protecting Immigrant Homes: The Importance of Strengthening and Expanding Tenant Protections for Immigrant New Yorkers.

Download report HERE. Executive Summary New Yorkers face a staggering affordable housing crisis. Rents have skyrocketed, and displacement is rampant. More than five million renters have no basic protections from eviction without cause. And those who have certain protections, because they live in rent-regulated households, face landlords who frequently harass them and exploit loopholes to…

The Nation

Tenants Are Fighting Eviction Before It Starts

A Certificate of No Harassment could become tenants’ preemptive strike against predatory developers encircling their neighborhoods. Every day in New York, working-class tenants deal with leaky pipes, cracked ceilings, and stalled elevators. But the last thing many of them need is a repair job from their landlord. That’s because repair jobs often come with a…


Newly Unveiled Bushwick Community Plan Grapples With Gentrification In A Rapidly Changing Neighborhood

More than four years in the making, the comprehensive plan for Bushwick, a community-driven effort launched to address the neighborhood’s rapid gentrification that includes a mass rezoning scheme, was unveiled on Saturday. Released as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration continues to forge ahead with rezoning plans for neighborhoods across the city, the Bushwick Community Plan…