Crown Heights tenants plan to go on rent strike
by Patrick Kearns
May 10, 2017 | 983 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A coalition of frustrated Crown Heights tenants at 80 New York Avenue plan to withhold rent from their landlord starting June 1 unless their demands are met.

Their requests are heat and hot water, fair rent and a pest-free environment, they announced at a rally outside the Brooklyn offices of the state Department of Homes and Community Renewal on May 3.

Residents claim that when Gold Management bought the building in 2015, five of the eight units were completely renovated, with three long-term tenants refusing the work. Those tenants have been without heat for the past two years.

“I went two winters without heat and we just had no gas for a month,” said Lisa Mathis, who has lived in the building off and on for the past 30 years. “Three of the apartments had no hot water.”

According to Mathis, an inspector from the Department of Buildings shut the gas off due to safety concerns.

“They send unlicensed people to do the work,” she said. “The work that they do ends up being a problem.”

New tenants say they are also experiencing hardships. They were also without gas, and say they are paying higher rents than they are supposed to, according to the city’s rent-stabilization laws.

New apartments were rented out at $4,000 a month, but they were supposed to be priced at $2,700.

For Angelica Blalock, this was her first apartment after college, and the problems started almost immediately.

“I was promised an apartment that was not actually available to me,” she recalled. “I had to move into an apartment I had not seen yet.”

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