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Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Requests and Office of Rent Administration (ORA) Requests for Records

Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Requests and Office of Rent Administration (ORA) Requests for Records
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Overview

The Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”), Article 6 (Sections 84-90) of the NYS Public Officers Law, provides the public with the right to access records maintained by government agencies with certain exceptions. 

“Record” means any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with, or for this agency, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or disks, rules, regulations or codes.

Learn more about records access and Open FOIL NY

If you would like your personal records from the Office of Rent Administration, an office of one of our component agencies, the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, you may not have to file a FOIL request

Request Rent Records Access

Office of Rent Administration (ORA) Request for Records Access

ORA, an office of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, one of our component agencies, is the custodian of records for apartments that are subject to rent control and rent stabilization.  These records include copies of orders, case files, rent control-MBR, fuel and registration cards and rent stabilized rent registration filings. In general, these records can be accessed by the subject tenant or owner of record, or their authorized representative.

Therefore, it is not necessary for the requester to cite the FOIL statute when requesting records and the requester may file a request for records access

By Email:

orarecords@nyshcr.org

By Mail:

  • Download a copy of form rec-1 and
  • File a paper request for records access by mail, with proof of identity and/or authorization attached to:

    New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal
    Office of Rent Administration
    Stacey Payton, Records Access Officer
    Records Access Unit
    92-31 Union Hall Street, 6th floor
    Jamaica, New York 11433

 

Download Records Access Request Form

 

Learn more about obtaining records from ORA 

*Records Access Requests (form REC-1) must be emailed to orarecords@nyshcr.org or sent via postal mail to the address above. 
Do not use the FOIL records request form to submit a request for records related to rent.

Request FOIL Records

Online FOIL Records Request Form
 

 

*This form is for FOIL records requests and may not be used to submit requests for access to records related to rent. See the section above.

 

E-mail a written request to: HCRFOIL@NYSHCR.ORG

 

Mail or hand deliver a written request for foil records to:

NYS Homes and Community Renewal
Valerie Molinaro, Records Access Officer
641 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10022

FOIL Process

Within five (5) business days of the receipt of a written request for a record that is reasonably described, we will send you a letter either: making such record available; denying such request in writing; or furnishing a written acknowledgment of the receipt of such request.  If you have not received a letter within five (5) business days, please contact us at HCRFOIL@NYSHCR.ORG.

An acknowledgment letter will provide you with an estimate of when the records you request will be available, which shall be reasonable under the circumstances of the request. This date is determined by the number of documents you request, their format, their availability, the time that it takes to redact any information that cannot be disclosed pursuant to FOIL, the time that it takes to assemble the documents, and other factors. 

If the records that you request require a fee to be paid, you will be notified prior to the records being released to you. When records cannot be transmitted electronically, fees for reproduction of standard size paper are 25 cents a page. The fees must be paid by personal check, certified bank check, attorney’s check or money order, payable to the particular agency from which you have requested records. Cash will not be accepted.   Unless a different fee is otherwise prescribed by statute, Public Officers Law §87(1) authorizes an agency to charge a fee of 25¢ per copy for copies of records up 9”x 14”, or the actual cost of reproducing a record. In determining the actual cost of producing a record, an agency may include only:

  • An amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to the lowest paid agency employee who has the necessary skill required to prepare the requested record(s), if at least two hours of agency employee time is needed to prepare a copy of the record(s) requested;
  • The actual cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person making the request in complying with such request; and
  • The actual cost to the agency of engaging an outside professional service to prepare a copy of a record, but only when an agency's information technology equipment is inadequate to prepare a copy, if such service is used to prepare the copy. 

Once the requested records are prepared, you may receive the records via email, fax, paper, CD/DVD, or USB. Requests for records may be emailed or hand delivered in writing and records are available for inspection, by appointment only, on business days between 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. at the Records Access office, the exact time of which shall be provided in a written confirmation from the Records Access Officer.

Right to Appeal

Under provisions of the Public Officers Law you may appeal a FOIL determination.  If you desire to submit such an appeal, you must do so within thirty (30) days of the written response to your FOIL request. Please mail or email a copy of the original request for records and a copy of the FOIL response letter that you received together with your appeal letter to HCRFOILappeals@nyshcr.org and addressed to: 

NYS Homes and Community Renewal
Linda Manley, Appeals Officer
641 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022

You will be informed in writing of the decision within ten (10) business days of our receipt of such an appeal.  Please indicate the FOIL request number when corresponding on this subject.

Subject Matter Lists & Agency FOIL Regulations

The following is a current list of records, by subject matter, that are maintained by the component agencies of HCR.  Some of the listed records may be exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law.

 Pursuant to New York Public Officers Law s 87(3) (c), the agencies that compose HCR are each required to maintain a reasonably detailed current list by subject matter of all records in their possession. These lists must be posted on HCR’s website.

Subject Matter Records Lists

  • Subject Matter Records List for the following:
    • New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA)
    • State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA)
    • New York State Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC)
    • State of New York Municipal Bond Bank Agency (MBBA)
    • Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation (TSFC)
  • Subject Matter Records List for the following:
    • The New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (HCR)
    • Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HTFC)

Agency FOIL Regulations

FOIL Regulations for HCR

 

 

Helpful Tips

For more information about FOIL, please visit the New York State Committee on Open Government’s Website.

When submitting a FOIL request:

  • Be as specific as possible in describing the requested records. Include relevant dates, names, descriptions, etc. See suggested language for a FOIL request from the Committee on Open Government.
  • Specify whether you would like to have copies of the records sent to you or to inspect the records.
  • If records are available, specify how you want them sent, i.e., via U.S. mail or e-mail. We may choose to send the records by U.S. Mail, if you have requested a large volume of records, for security or other reasons. We will notify you of any charge for reproducing such records before they are sent to you.
  • Include your e-mail and postal mailing address as well as a telephone number where you can be reached during business hours, if it is necessary to clarify your request.
  • Please note that the agencies that compose HCR are not required to create a new record in response to FOIL requests.