A new report by TakeRoot Justice and Stand for Tenant Safety Coalition documents the experience of tenants whose buildings underwent recent construction and the gaps in laws intended to protect tenants from the practice of construction as harassment.
"This is about more than a space heater," Pilar DeJesus, an advocacy coordinator with TakeRoot Justice said. "We need to get to the root of the problems."
“You can’t exercise housing rights you don’t know you have."
Although New York’s tax lien sale is intended to incentivize property owners to pay, it can pressure owners to sell to speculators or cut corners with maintenance, without oversight from the city and at the expense of tenants.
Rents came down for, like, a month or two, and then everyone started trying to make up for what they lost,” said Paula Segal, an attorney with TakeRoot Justice, which offers legal services to small commercial businesses.
Small businesses often given cheaper rents for the first year of a lease as an incentive, but then “it doubles in year two because the landlord is trying to make up what they lost during Covid.”
The Cooper Square Committee hosted a rally with TakeRoot Justice, tenants, elected officials, and other community advocates held a rally pleading for Faith Popcorn stop stalling and engage in meaningful negotiations.
Unfortunately, my story is not unique and the abuse continues. A recent report by the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and TakeRoot Justice, “It’s Still War in Here,” documents the abusive conditions in New York state prisons.
Pilar DeJesus was among the activists to gather in Cooper Square Wednesday and protest new rent hikes. DeJesus, who works as the senior advocacy coordinator at TakeRoot Justice, said her clients cannot afford a rent increase.
"We’re trying to show the judge that there’s been a pattern,” said Jason Torres, who is currently represented by the nonprofit legal group TakeRoot Justice. “I just don’t know what to do anymore.”