Farewell!

After two and half years, I am saying goodbye to UHAB and hello to my hometown of San Francisco, CA.

But before I leave, dear tenants, allies, advocates, and readers – I’ll tell you a little bit about the stuff I learned in hopes that the lessons will be useful.

1) Focusing a large campaign on a single target works. 

2) New York tenants are sharp, tenacious, and down to fight injustice.

3) Foreclosure is a terrible process for renters, particularly because receivers generally do not receive funding from the bank to deal with distressed conditions created by the prior owner. This generates even more dangerous conditions in a building and a confusing situation for tenants who are not sure which party is responsible for their significant maintenance needs.

4) Predatory Equity is still happening, with many new over-leveraged loans being made on multi-family buildings. This second round of further speculation will continue to have punishing effects on neighborhoods if legislators do not take significant action.

4) Responsible banking ordinances, public participation in CRA reviews, and meetings with bank regulators seem to present lasting strategies to encourage better bank behavior.

6) A Landlord License Law is one of the most interesting and powerful new policy initiatives that could preserve and protect NY’s affordable housing stock.

5) Amazing work is happening in NY around fighting predatory equity. This work would not be nearly as successful without all of UHAB’s amazing allies – Legal Aid Society, Urban Justice Center, Legal Services New York, New York Communities for Change, Community Action for Safe Apartments, Pratt Area Community Council, Tenants and Neighbors, Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, the many great landlords and developers in NY, journalists and reporters, and of course the amazing and courageous tenants of all five boroughs.

THANK YOU everyone who has made my last few years memorable, exciting, positive, and inspirational. I will miss you.

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