After two long agonizing and tireless years of advocacy and organizing, full of emotions and tears by families facing homelessness due to illegal harassment, today, New York City Council made history by voting 11 bills to end construction harassment by landlords, making it illegal to pursue such action against tenants.
Led by the Stand for Tenant Safety Coalition, legal advocates, elected officials, and over a hundred tenants rallied today on the steps of City Hall to celebrate their long fought victory to reform the New York City Department of Buildings and stop “construction as harassment.” St Nicks Alliance was one of the three founding members of the Stand for Tenant Safety (STS), a citywide coalition of community organizations formed to fight construction as harassment and strengthen tenant rights throughout New York City.
“I am proud to Stand for Tenant Safety” said Councilmember Antonio Reynoso, a champion of this coalition. “This a victory for everyone- for the advocates who have been tirelessly working on the ground in our neighborhoods and for the tenants who are being driven out of their rent stabilized homes by unscrupulous landlords. The citywide coalition’s assistance with crafting the legislation has been paramount. These bills strengthen and protect tenants’ rights to stay in their homes and not be harassed by construction to their unit or building.”
“Real estate values have created a “wild west” atmosphere amongst some landlords who undertook outrageous acts which threaten the safety of residents to force evictions” said Michael Rochford, Executive Director of St. Nicks Alliance. “The Stand for Tenant Safety legislation will hold landlords accountable for illegal action.”
With this case and countless others, St. Nicks Alliance acts as a guiding light to council, support, and inform tenants on their rights. St. Nick Alliance’s Community Preservation division has helped rally hundreds of tenants to make their voices heard by the City Council Housing Committee who began hearings on these measures this past year. This grassroots victory proves that together, we have the power to change a system that is harmful to our collective future. St. Nicks Alliance will continue to motivate tenants and inspire an active community in order to put an end to the inhumane actions of predatory landlords threatening the health and well-being of the North Brooklyn community.
Michael Rochford, St. Nicks Alliance