FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2022
City of Kingston Launches Landlord-Tenant Mediation Program
KINGSTON, NY – Mayor Steven T. Noble is pleased to announce that the City of Kingston has launched a Landlord-Tenant Mediation Program.
The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Program offers free and confidential assistance from a trained, neutral mediator for landlord/tenant conflicts in Kingston. The mediation process is designed to resolve conflict without having to escalate disagreements to Housing Court.
Mediation can help resolve conflicts in areas such as:
- Disputes about rent, including agreements about payment plan for back-owed rent
- Negotiations between landlords and tenants around potential rent increases
- Disputes around needed repairs, including maintenance and safety concerns
- Disputes between tenants/landlords involving commercial leases
- Disputes between tenants around noise or property use
“We have a housing crisis and are woefully lacking in rental housing, so my office and the housing director are constantly seeking new programs and policies that will help us keep our residents safely housed,” said Mayor Noble. “This program provides conflict resolution tools outside of the court system, and allows tenants and landlords to bring up concerns in a non-adversarial open communication process, which helps both sides understand where the other party is coming, and to move forward in a positive, productive way.”
Mediations can be virtual or in person, and is a voluntary and free process. The typical turnaround from intake to mediation is two weeks. Mediation does not replace housing court, but can be a valuable first step to help both parties reach an agreement. If mediation does not work, tenants and landlords are free to proceed with the appropriate next steps, including taking their case to housing court.
“The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Program is a safe and proven option for tenants and landlords to work together toward solutions that help prevent displacement. I hope this option will be valuable resource for landlords and tenants to resolve housing issues,” said Bartek Starodaj, Director of Housing Initiatives.
“The DRC is looking forward to supporting this initiative and continuing to serve the community,” said Jolynn Dunn, Regional ADR Coordinator at the Dispute Resolution Center.
The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Program is run by the Dispute Resolution Center (DRC), which has been helping residents in Ulster County resolve conflicts for 15 years. Landlords or tenants are encouraged to fill out an intake form or call the DRC at (845) 372-8771 x 5001. For general questions about the Landlord-Tenant Mediation Program, contact the City of Kingston’s Office of Housing Initiatives at (845) 334-3928.
For more information and an FAQ, reference this fact sheet.
Mayor Noble established the Department of Housing Initiatives in 2020 to support housing planning in the City of Kingston. The Department manages housing-related grants, supports the construction of new market-rate and affordable housing, develops policies to protect existing residents, and addresses the connection between housing and sustainability, health, and mobility. The Department also reviews the disposition of city-owned property suitable for housing development and collaborates with local and regional housing organizations. Current projects include city-wide rezoning efforts, the Tiny Homes Project, Good Cause Eviction, short-term rental guidelines and more. Visit https://kingston-ny.gov/housing.