Victory arrived to tenants and housing advocates after two tireless years of advocacy and organizing for families facing homelessness due to illegal harassment. Today, New York City Council made history by voting yes to 11 bills that will protect tenants from landlords who would use construction as harassment.
This legislation was championed by the Stand for Tenant Safety (STS), a grassroots coalition that includes tenants, community organizations, and legal advocates. Prior to the council's roll call, STS gathered supporters, elected officials, and over a hundred tenants to rally on the City Hall steps for a celebration of the steadfast endurance that resulted in reforming in the New York City Department of Buildings and blocking landlords from use of dangerous demolition and unauthorized renovations to intimidate their rent stabilized tenants to move out — thus opening the door to a more profitable market rate conversion. St Nicks Alliance is a proud founding member of STS.
“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."