Our organizing team was so busy in 2014. We accomplished a ton in this past year… read on about all the ways we’ve been stopping displacement and building community!!
Click here to download the PDF version of this Roundup!
Major Organizing Efforts and Coalitions
- CSC’s organizing department was a lead community-group partner with the NYS Attorney General’s (AG) office in their investigation of the “tenant relocator” Michel Pimienta. The organizing we did and information we provided helped the AG wage a precedent-setting investigation which led to the shuttering of Michel’s operations. UJC and CAAAV were also partners in this effort.
Press conference at Mahfar building, 210 Rivington. Photo credit: Zach Williams for The Villager
Led the organizing to help form the Mahfar Tenants Coalition. Both UJC and CAAAV are also involved with the amazing work happening here. This coalition, which includes half a dozen Samy Mahfar (SMA Equities) owned buildings, is fiercely pushing back against this landlord’s attempt to vacate and renovate Lower East Side (LES) buildings en masse. In 2014 the tenants from these buildings called Mahfar to the table, used city agencies and local politicians to step up enforcement in their buildings, and held a powerful press conference in December 2014 after lead contamination was verified to have occurred in their buildings. The tenants of the Mahfar Tenants Coalition have proven to be some of the strongest fighters we’ve seen in 2014! Read More
PETITION: Stand with Mahfar Tenants Coalition: Demand Safe, Lead-Free Homes!
YOUTUBE: Rosie Mendez calls out Mahfar agent
PRESS RELEASE BELOW:
|For Immediate Release
DECEMBER 10, 2014
PDF Link here (bit.ly/mahfar210)
|Contact: Brandon Kielbasa
(212) 228-8210 firstname.lastname@example.org
MAHFAR TENANTS COALITION DEMANDS PROPER MITIGATION OF LEAD DURING CONSTRUCTION
Tenants find high lead concentrations in their buildings and speak out against the unsafe construction practices used by LES landlord Samy Mahfar.
WHAT: Press Conference / WHERE: 210 Rivington St. / WHEN: 12:30pm – 1:30pm
8-foot banner displayed at press conference – Click to enlarge
1% and 2.75%
Despite a massive turnout of tenants at last night’s Rent Guidelines Board vote, and calls for a rent freeze, the RGB voted for a 1% increase on one-year leases, and 2.75% for two-year leases. While it’s disappointing that the RGB didn’t vote for a rent freeze, the 1% increase for a one-year lease is the lowest ever in the 45 year history of the RGB. The tenants’ movement can take credit for making that happen. Now let’s focus on strengthening the NY State rent laws when they come up for renewal in June of next year. Let’s stay mobilized!
~ Steve Herrick, Executive Director
Dear affordable housing seeker,
The Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association (MHA) is no longer accepting requests for applications.
If you applied, you will be notified by 10/31/2014 whether you are or are not selected for an interview.
For more affordable housing opportunities click here.
For more details on the MHA process, including if you have received an application and have questions, click below.
We are working on collecting data on what tenants face during mismanaged construction so that we can create new laws and put an end to it. If this is something you have experienced, please come into the CSC office (61 E 4th St) to pick up and fill out a Real-Time Enforcement Construction survey. Tenant leaders and CSC organizers can also bring surveys to your building for you and your neighbors to fill out, or you can get help get involved with mass distribution yourself! Email Brandon for more details.
In the summer of 2010, I was facing some financial difficulty and had fallen behind on rent payments for my rent stabilized apartment on Ave B. Fearing that I would be evicted from my apartment, I was recommended by a friend to get in touch with Brandon Kielbasa at The Cooper Square Committee. Brandon had previously helped her with some issues that she was having in her Lower East Side apartment, and she informed me that the Committee was a great recourse for East Village residents.
If you are a property owner or board member of a low income cooperative, contact Steve or Angee to find out what types of free and low cost greening programs your building may be eligible for.
In October, 2011, the Cooper Square Committee launched an HDFC Greening Project. We began by