Queens Defenders is pleased to announce a new partnership with New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD).  Under this new grant award, Queens Defenders will provide Housing Navigator Services out of the Rockaway Community Justice Center and Jamaica Justice Center.  This new 10-person team has already begun working with Queens residents with Emergency Housing Vouchers to secure permanent, stable housing. 

Stan Khaldarov, Housing Navigator Supervisor & Director of Food Justice states, “Our Housing Navigator Program marks a new chapter in the growth of the Housing Initiatives at Queens Defenders. In addition to our existing housing services, our team of Housing Navigators is now assisting Emergency Housing Voucher (“EHV”) recipients with their housing search, apartment viewings, and lease up process.” 

Housing Navigators will be working one-on-one with clients, helping them to identify their housing needs, connect with realtors and landlords, and ultimately find, apply, and secure stable and affordable housing.  “Within the housing paradigm, finding and securing an apartment is often the most difficult factor. Our team is proud to assist our clients with taking this challenging step towards safe and stable housing,”  Khaldarov added. 

Queens Defenders is also pleased to announce that two current Young Adult Leaders, Andre Hussey and Hector Rodriguez, have been hired to the Housing Navigator team.  “I am proud of our Young Adult Leaders Andre and Hector who rose to the challenge and were promoted to be a part of this team,” Khaldarov said.  The Young Adult Leader Program supports Far Rockaway Youth with part-time employment paired with youth development and college and career readiness activities.  Our Young Adult Leaders are a crucial part of our community-based Outreach Programs and are often the first to step in and help individuals in need of assistance or coordinate community education events on topics including healthy relationships, college readiness information, and Know Your Rights workshops. 

The Housing Navigator program builds upon Queens Defenders’ already existing housing advocacy services that provide assistance with affordable housing lottery applications, information and advocacy related to Housing Court, and Know Your Rights workshops for tenants.  

Brandon Jeffries, Director of Youth Services at Queens Defenders stated, “The opportunity to enhance Queens Defenders resources is a dream turned reality.  Knowing that we can support residents with finding an apartment is an honor that we take great pride in as we transition those in need from a shelter to a new home. In a time where resources and services are changing, Queens Defenders remains determined to be at the forefront for the good of the community.”