Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

April 21, 2015

How Can Tech Support Housing Rights?

By David Reiss

Here is Linda Raftree’s write up of the Technology Salon Brooklyn event on How Can Tech Support Housing Rights in Brooklyn? The salon co-hosted the event with the Brooklyn Community Foundation (BCF) and AfroLatin@ Project.  The salon attendees explored the issue of tenant rights within the wider context of structural discrimination:

We aimed to think about how new technology and social media might be a tool for helping community organizations to support Brooklyn residents to know their rights and report violations. We were also curious about how better use of data (and ‘big data’) might help housing rights activists and community organizations to more successfully engage residents and advocate for change.

Our lead discussant was David Reiss from Brooklyn Law School, who provided an overview of the wider housing market and challenges in New York City as well as information on some applications that are helping landlords do a better job of keeping properties up to standard. We also heard from Tynesha McHarris (BCF) and Amilcar Priestly (AfroLatin@ Project).

Clearly, tech offers no magic bullets for the gap between the supply and demand of housing in NYC, but there were some intriguing ideas about how to protect rent-regulated tenants from harassment. There were also some interesting ideas about how public housing tenants could use technology to track and organize around bad housing conditions. The write up of the salon is here and is worth a read.

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