The Surreal Estate

Perspectives on Tenant Organizing from the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board

Friday News Round-up!

With great anticipation of the weekend as well as the week ahead, we would like to take a moment and reflect on the events of the previous week.

  1.  On Tuesday evening,  President Obama and Governor Romney dueled out  at the second presidential debate. Unlike the first debate, the President took control of the stage and eloquently illustrated his platform. This debate also featured each candidate deliberating on a broader array of topics (thanks to our favorite womyn of the week, Candy Crowley), including immigration, health care, and reproductive health. According to the most recent Gallup Polls, President Obama’s chances of winning the Electoral College have increased from 64.8% to 65.7%.  While some us organizers at UHAB didn’t agree with all of the candidates’ stances, we appreciate their charisma!
  2. Yesterday, a ruling made by the Court of Appeals for the  Second Circuit Court in New York has re-threatened the Defense of Marriage Act. In a 2-1 ruling, the panel struck down the federal government’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage. Because this is the first time that the federal appeals court has provided such unprecedented, heightened protection to same-sex marriage, legal scholars believe that the Supreme Court may rule on this case soon. Let’s hope that these legal scholars are right and a disruption in heteronormativity soon emerges!
  3. President and CEO of the Home Loan Bank of New York, Alfred A. DelliBovi, announced the bank will use $26.4 M subsidies to pay for 37 affordable housing initiatives in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  The grant is part of the bank’s Affordable Housing Program (“AHP”), and will preserve as well as create 2,679 units of affordable housing to low-income tenants.  Of these units, 2,000 will be dedicated to very-low income tenants. While this initiative will make housing more accessible to tenants in these areas, the project will also propel community development. We look forward to see the outcome of these newly created and renovated buildings!
  4. Thanks to a recent grant, City Limits entire photo archive is now viewable online. In a photo essay called “Without Limits,” the magazine compiled a sample from years of photographs illuminating social injustices in New York City from 1976 to 2012.  The pictures feature manifestations of drug addiction, homelessness, and reproductive health. Of the photographs, I noticed an image of Paul Parker showing his tattoo of his son, Jashawn. For months, tenants encouraged the landlord to fix the gas systems and electrical wiring in the building. Like many of the landlords that we work with, he refused to listen to tenants and make repairs. In 2002, Parker’s building caught fire and his son died in the burning building. Jashawn’s fatal story is a reminder that, in many cases, fighting for building preservation is fighting for life preservation as well.

We hope that you have a restful weekend and stay tuned for an eventful UHAB week to come!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,204 other followers

%d bloggers like this: