Cuomo taps first head of tenant protection unit

February 17, 2012 04:30PM

Richard White has been appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to lead the new tenant protection unit at New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the state’s housing agency, the governor announced today.

White, a real estate attorney at the Manhattan law firm of Cyruli Shanks Hart & Zizmor, was previously the deputy commissioner for Investigation, Trials & Litigation at the New York City Department of Correction.

The tenant protection unit will “enforce landlord obligations to tenants and impose strict penalties for failure to comply with HCR orders and New York’s rent laws,” Cuomo’s office said.

“In 2011, we passed the greatest strengthening of the state’s rent laws in 40 years, and today we are taking the next step to protect tenants by appointing deputy commissioner White,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Our new tenant protection unit will proactively prevent problems and root out fraud that can wreak havoc in the lives of rent-regulated residents.”

White, a deputy commissioner, said he was excited to apply his experience in the public and private sectors to protecting tenants’ rights. — Katherine Clarke