Other Group

Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA)




Bronx, NY


Housing Advocacy Group

Lead Organizer:

Hal Bergold

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Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) is a community organizing group based in Bronx, New York, that advocates for left-of-center housing policies that support tenants over landlords. CASA is a project of New Settlement (also known as New Settlement Apartments), an advocacy group that pursues broader left-wing goals across the Bronx.


Campaign for Justice in Housing Court

In January 2012, Community Action for Safe Apartments launched the Campaign for Justice in Housing Court to reform Bronx housing courts, particularly to make it more difficult for landlords to evict tenants. Over the following year, CASA worked with the Urban Justice Center to survey over 1,000 tenants, conduct three focus groups, and observe 15 judges. CASA’s findings were released in March 2013. In August 2017, CASA claimed credit for New York City instituting the first law in the United States giving tenants the right to an attorney in housing court. In October 2019, CASA released a second report criticizing the housing court system for abuses and led a protest in front of the Bronx Housing Court with the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition. 1

Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision

In 2014, CASA launched the Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision to demand input into a city plan to study 92 blocks for potential housing development. Over the next three years, the Coalition hosted numerous events, conducted surveys, knocked on doors, and led protests to pressure the city government. In June 2017, the Coalition led a 600-tenant march through the Bronx. As of January 2024, the coalition continues to oppose the city’s plans and is fighting alleged attempts “to displace rent-stabilized low-income tenants of color for future, white, higher income-earning tenants.” 2

Campaign for a Rent Freeze

In 2016 and 2017, CASA opposed attempts by New York City to raise rents on rent-controlled apartments. In 2017, CASA claimed credit for successfully lowering a proposed increase from 2 percent for one-year leases and 4 percent for two-year leases to 1.25 percent and 2 percent respectively. In 2016, CASA claimed credit for defeating all rent increase attempts. 3

No More Major Capital Improvements

CASA opposes major capital improvements (MCIs) in low-income apartments. MCIs are large-scale building-wide upgrades, such as improving boilers, electrical wiring, and plumbing. According to CASA, MCIs often result in raised rent for tenants. In October 2017, CASA presented demands to New York City for new regulations on MCIs, including requiring tenant consent and giving tenants more time to legally oppose MCIs. 4

In March 2020, CASA’s leadership met with then-New York state Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D) to advocate for stricter regulations on MCIs. 5


Hal Bergold has been the lead organizer of Community Action for Safe Apartments since April 2021, and worked as a community organizer from 2018 to 2021. Bergold previously worked as a union organizer for the SEIU United Service Workers West. Earlier, he served as a tenant organizing intern at the Metropolitan Council on Housing. 6

Juan Giraldo has been a community organizer at CASA since November 2022. Giraldo previously ran the Queens College chapter of Generation Citizen. 7


In 2022, CASA received funding from New York Community Cares, which is funded by the New York Community Bank and run by the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development. 8

In 2019, CASA received $15,000 from the North Star Fund. 9


  1. “CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE IN HOUSING COURT.” New Settlement. Accessed January 17, 2024. https://newsettlement.org/casa/our-campaigns/campaign-for-justice-in-housing-court/.
  2. “CAMPAIGN FOR THE PARTICIPATORY RE-ZONING OF JEROME AVE.” New Settlement. Accessed January 17, 2024. https://newsettlement.org/casa/our-campaigns/campaign-for-the-participatory-re-zoning-of-jerome-ave/.
  3. “RENT FREEZE!.” New Settlement. Accessed January 17, 2024. https://newsettlement.org/casa/rent-rollback/.
  4. “NO MORE MAJOR CAPITAL IMPROVMENTS.” New Settlement. Accessed January 17, 2024. https://newsettlement.org/casa/our-campaigns/no-more-mcis/.
  5. “Senator Biaggi Meets with New Settlement Apartments Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) and Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition.” New York Senate. March 3, 2020. Accessed January 17, 2024. https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/2020/alessandra-biaggi/senator-biaggi-meets-new-settlement-apartments-community.
  6. “Hal Bergold.” LinkedIn. Accessed January 17, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/in/hal-bergold-79903b43/.
  7. “Juan Giraldo.” LinkedIn. Accessed January 17, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/in/juan-giraldo-20a9aa183/.
  8. “2022 New York Community Cares Grantees Announced.” Association for Neighborhood Housing and Development. April 27, 2022. Accessed January 17, 2024. https://anhd.org/blog/2022-new-york-community-cares-grantees-announced.
  9. “Our Fall 2018-Winter 2019 New York City Grassroots Action Grants.” North Star Fund. February 12, 2019. Accessed January 17, 2024. https://northstarfund.org/2019/02/fall-2018-winter-2019-new-york-city-grassroots-action-grants/.
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Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA)

Bronx, NY