By 10 AM this morning, at least 80 tenants and advocates from distressed buildings all over New York were already blue in the face, protesting New York Community Bank’s irresponsible lending practices at their annual shareholder meeting in Queens.
We asked shareholders to intervene, and tell NYCB to stop selling loans to irresponsible landlords, adhere to sound underwriting standards, and sell loans to responsible landlords who promise to maintain buildings in safe and decent condition.
Shareholder’s got this flyer:
Despite the fact that the police were out in full force, and the hotel tried to create a wall of vehicles between the tenants and the shareholders, the tenants prevailed. Not only did a group of us interrupt the shareholder’s meeting to discuss the issue and say a prayer (before we were escorted outside), but we chanted outside the hotel for almost two hours – causing a very peaceful raucous. This is what it looked like:
Let’s hope that as the weekend approaches, NYCB reconsiders its lending practices and decides to proceed in a responsible way. If not, I guess we’ll be back soon.
Many thanks to all of the wonderful tenants and activists who came out today. Big ups to all the folks at: ANHD, Tenants and Neighbors, Pratt Area Community Council, North West Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, and Community Action for Safe Apartments!