The Surreal Estate

Perspectives on Tenant Organizing from the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board

Tag Archives: riverton

NY Times: “In Harlem Buildings, Reminders of Easy Money and the Financial Crisis.”

A few days ago, the NY Times published this story, describing tenants’ experience living in buildings purchased for exorbitant prices unsupported by rents.

This story is consistent with our message at The Surreal Estate. Tenants have suffered, and continue to suffer, due to real estate speculation. All over the city. Leading up to 2008.

But it’s happening now too! Why does this New York Times article talk about speculation as a thing of a the past? The fact is, many of the buildings we work in are emerging from foreclosure – but they’re emerging with the same or higher levels of debt, purchased by a new round of speculators.

As the battle surrounding rent-regulation heats up (the laws expire tomorrow!) it’s important to remember that real estate speculation is happening today, and it’s as dangerous for families as it ever was. If the foreclosure crisis and the credit crunch aren’t big enough reminders, this article highlights how speculation is hurting individuals, individuals who never took out loans themselves.

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