Walking into 755 Jackson Ave. feels like walking into a nightmare. The stairs which had caved in 6 months earlier remain treacherous, the sign warning tenants about asbestos on the roof remains, and tenants’ health, mental and physical, is worsening as a result of the state of the building. Tenants, who are not being issued new leases, report a hostile and negligent management. Tenants are fined thousands of dollars in Con-Edison bills, falsely. It’s a mess.
The good news is tenants are organizing and they’re not giving up! Affordable housing is a vital to New York City communities and tenants are fighting to make their homes a better place to live. Alongside Banana Kelly and UHAB, they are petitioning the City to appoint a 7A Administrator. This would take the building out of Stabilis’s hands and into the hands of someone responsible. See below for the tenants’ letter to HPD.
All too often tenants are denied their rights and unjustly evicted from their homes. Join us as we give Stabilis a taste of their own medicine and evict them!
To Whom It May Concern:
We, the tenant association members of 755 Jackson Avenue, are writing to urge an expedited approval of the 7A administrator appointment process for our building. In late November of 2013, we requested that Harry DeRienzo, the executive director of Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association, a local community development nonprofit organization, be appointed as the 7A administrator. We are grateful for your support and ask that you continue to stand with us in our struggle for safe housing.
Ever since we publicly began putting pressure on Stabilis, through a press conference on December 3rd and a series of accompanying news articles, they have made superficial fixes to our building. However, the deep structural issues that pushed us to request the 7A still remain. Our heating system does not work at the coldest hours of night. The stairs are still dangerous to walk on. In the places where Stabilis’ contractors painted, they covered over possible led paint without removing it. Many individual apartments have experienced periodic loss of water, and many have broken kitchen appliances that have not been fixed. And we know that there is asbestos on the roof that has not been removed.
Meanwhile, Stabilis has been attempting to collect rent from each apartment. However, none of the apartments have a legitimate lease, and multiple requests to receive these since the beginning of their ownership have gone unanswered. We believe that they are attempting to charge much higher than the legal rent on our rent-stabilized apartments. All these problems take place after Stabilis ignored the building from their initial purchase in June, 2013 until the press conference in December.
Appointing a 7A administrator with all due haste would allow us, the tenants, to begin paying a fair rent and receiving the repairs that we so desperately need. We are deeply appreciative of the steps that have already been taken in the process, and we urge you to allow no further delay and begin the legal proceedings to appoint the administrator immediately.
The Tenant Association of 755 Jackson Avenue