Tenants from Linden Plaza, the largest remaining City-managed Mitchell-Lama complex in East New York experienced years of illegitimate fees, rent increases and evictions that stemmed from a refinancing of the building in 2008. To cover some of the refinancing expenses, HUD approved and HPD implemented an astonishing 93% rent increase. Many long-term residents had no choice but to flee their homes in order to escape the drastic rent increases. Many more tried to keep up with the new rent burden, but were eventually evicted after falling behind. Meanwhile, tenants continued to complain about the building management’s unscrupulous practices, like refusing to honor their leases, and adding fees and surcharges to their rent statements.
The Linden Plaza Leaseholders’ Tenant Association Council, together with the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC) partnered with TakeRoot Justice for a project focused on documenting the systemic issues and experiences of tenants at Linden Plaza. TakeRoot worked with CHLDC and The Linden Plaza Leaseholders’ Tenant Association Council to develop a research plan and survey, and trained tenant leaders to administer the survey to their neighbors. Findings from the surveys included the failure of HUD to properly oversee Linden Plaza, as well as the impact of negligence and abuse on tenants by building management.
The report was developed to support the tenants’ organizing efforts. The Linden Plaza Leaseholders’ Tenant Association Council released the report to the public in November 2018. In addition to documenting tenants’ issues, the report makes a strong case that Linden Plaza has been seriously mismanaged, with profits prioritized over residents’ health and safety. It includes recommendations for city and state lawmakers, and tenants will be using the report to move their legal campaign forward.
Read the full report.