Monday, May 9, 2011

Daily News article on Chinatown tenant protest



A group of Chinatown residents loudly protested against neighborhood landlords Sunday, accusing them of strong-arming poorer, older tenants out.
About 50 protesters gathered in a Hester St. park complained that landlords harassed them to leave rent-stabilized apartments in favor of renters with deeper pockets.
In addition to allowing the apartments to fall into disrepair, the tenants - some of whom live here illegally - say the landlords threatened to have them deported.
"Pretty much every day we have someone coming to us with a new story of a landlord harassing them," said Esther Wang of the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence.
They say the practice allows landlords to boost rents a minimum of 22% immediately after an apartment becomes vacant.
"This gives them the incentive to have short-term residents - to flip people in-and-out," said Democratic District Leader Paul Newell.
The protesters then marched to three buildings where they say the landlords were aggressively trying to push people out - 11 Allen St., 54 Eldridge St. and 55 Delancey St.
Messages left with the buildings' listed owners were not returned.