The Jewish Daily Forward published an article today written by UHAB Organizer Elise Goldin called “Fighting Jewish Slumlords Isn’t Anti-Semitic.” Inspired by the inflammatory media attention around slumlord Menachem Stark’s murder, she writes about the ways that religious Jews too often appear in NYC’s shady real estate business:
Through my work, I do a great deal of research to try and untangle the mess of who owns what property and who’s connected to whom in the real estate industry. And it’s not easy. Take 199 Lee Avenue, an address in the religious Jewish part of Williamsburg. It’s connected to literally hundreds and hundreds of distressed buildings. Entities with an address at 199 Lee touch all sides of any real estate deal — as owners, mortgagers, brokers — and it’s nearly impossible to connect the address to an actual person.
This Wednesday, we’re holding a tenant action in the neighborhood of Borough Park with tenants from 230 and 232 Schenectady in Crown Heights. The buildings are in some of the worst condition we at UHAB have ever seen: unbelievable leaks, ceilings caving in, and two electrical fires since they’ve been in foreclosure. Back in 2012, tenants actually won their organizing campaign: an non-profit group, MHANY, purchased the mortgages on the buildings with the goal of finishing the foreclosure and becoming owner. Unfortunately, the foreclosure process has moved at a glacial speed and even though MHANY holds the mortgages, no real work can be done until the foreclosure is finished. While tenants continue to live in dangerous conditions, the owners of the building are further stalling the foreclosure by marketing the buildings with hopes of paying off MHANY and making some money off the top.
Wednesday morning, we’re gathering to protest real estate broker, Sanford Solny, in front of his office in Borough Park to tell him and his investors to back away from this deal and let foreclosure case finally come to an end. This is an action to preserve affordable housing in Crown Heights, and to assert that tenants, not banks and landlords, should be determining what happens to their homes.
Every minute that Sanford Solny and his slumlord investor friends continue to treat these buildings like gambling chips, tenants continue to suffer. Join us in telling them to back off!
When: Wednesday, January 15th, 11 AM
Where: 3811 13th Ave, Brooklyn
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-479-3358