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Crown Heights Tenants Rally Against Landlords

News 12

Some tenants in Crown Heights are rallying for better rights. On Union Street, tenants say the new owner of their apartment building, BCB Properties, bought the building last year and is now trying to push them out.

Tenants say the owner constantly harasses them about buying out their rent-stabilized apartments. They claim that their pleas for needed repairs are ignored because they refuse to leave.

In response to the problem, tenants from 18 buildings have formed the Crown Heights Tenants Union, and are demanding stricter enforcement of the tenants’ rights.

Tenants say they have sent the owner a list of demands. Some of the things they are asking for are a five-year rent freeze, repairs to be done promptly, and to not be constantly harassed about buyouts.

The owner of the building has yet to respond for comment.

50 Comments

    • 2. Milhouse wrote:

      How is it a chilul haShem? Why should a yid let himself get ripped off so some parasites can continue to benefit from below-market rents? Rent control laws are unjust, and it’s natural that a person who puts his life’s savings into a building wants to get the full revenue that it’s worth, and doesn’t want tenants who are paying less. That they’re upset about it is of course also natural; they’ve got a good deal, living at someone else’s expense, and they don’t want to give it up. I’d be upset too. But why don’t you call their protest a “chilul hashem”, or of whatever they are?

      Or is it because they’re not yidden, and to you “kidush haShem” means always siding with the goy against your fellow yid? Is that it? Do you think any yid who doesn’t give in to whatever a goy demands is being “mechalel haShem”?! You’re wrong. You know what’s a chilul haShem? A yid siding with goyim against his fellow yidden. That is a chilul haShem. When goyim know that whenever they get into a dispute with a yid, his fellow yidden will support them, that is a chilul haShem. A kidush haShem is when goyim know that yidden are honest and fair, but not suckers. When they know that a yid will not rip them off, but he will not let them rip him off either. And when they know that yidden support each other, stand up for each other, and love each other.

  • 3. Just checked up the owners wrote:

    I just checked up the owners and team of BCB Properties, don’t know if they’re Jewish, but if they are they definitely don’t look Frum, that’s for sure.

    Reply
  • 4. TO #1 wrote:

    Of course it is owned by someone from our community, unfortunately…and the “newly renovated apartments” will just drive prices further up into the sky so we can all barely afford to get by while a very few get very rich. Is this what the Rebbe wanted for CH??????????

    Reply
    • 5. Milhouse wrote:

      What’s so “of course” about it? You don’t know that. But yes, the Rebbe wanted to protect the value of Crown Heights real estate, The Rebbe wanted to stop people selling houses to undesirable elements who would make their block unsafe, drive the prices down, and destroy yidden’s investments. In other words, block busting.

  • 6. BCB Properties, wrote:

    no they are not jewish and they are not from ch
    its a company owned by one of the top 5 real estate families in NYC

    Reply
  • 7. Citizen Berel wrote:

    So you have a building what can fetch a certain amount of money per unit. And you have tenants inhabiting those units for far less money, demanding rent stabilization agreements and repairs.

    There is a structural problem here. This is a form of soft war over a limited resource and there isn’t anything anyone can do about it.

    Why does everyone need someone to hate.

    Reply
    • 8. SUPPLY AND DEMAND wrote:

      the demand for housing in NYC is high, supply limited, by a myriad of regulations, permits and zoning.

      the price is also bid up by the increase in the money supply, and and we have readjusted but the bank bailouts helped maintain artificially high prices.

      look at the price of pizza and beer over the last 10 years. they have doubled. and so has the price of housing, look at current stock prices and you can see we are at pre rescission levels yet the underlying market fundamentals are not there. TRILLIONS of dollars have been willed into existence, and there are far fewer people employed than before.

      i recomend yall read “how an economy grows and how it doesent” by irwin schiff,
      or better “economics in one lession” by henry hazlitt…

  • 9. To "sad" and to "TO #1" - wrote:

    What does it say about both you guys that you right away assume it’s a Frum Yid who’s a bad guy? Think about it. Especially as it turns out that they’re not Jewish or Frum. Let’s thank commentors – “Just checked…” and “BCB Properties” for checking it out for us.

    Reply
  • 13. Citizen Shmerl wrote:

    Shame on those 2 people above who immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was a Frum Yid and it was a “Chilul Hashem”. But not only that, they had the “good” sense to writt it in a comment on a public website. Keep your self hatred to yourself “sad” and “TO #1″, okay?

    Reply
  • 14. Home owner wrote:

    Rents are too high. Food is too high. High fashion designer wear is also too high.

    But we have many residents in our neighborhood who want to pay next to nothing for rent (preferably section 8, of course) while they tell the yeshivos that they can’t pay tuition, but they lease expensive cars and dress themselves and their children in designer wear. And then a few years later they move into the totally renovated home that they bought on someone else’s name and remodeled while paying “too much rent.”

    I’m getting tired of all of these chronic complainers who are actually doing quite well for themselves on our tax dollars.

    I don’t mean people who honestly need the help, but there are too many who complain about the cost of rent or the cost of buying a house, or tuition, etc. who need to take an honest look at themselves and what they consider “Needs” as opposed to “wants.”

    Reply
    • 15. to# H.O. wrote:

      So they want rent to be free. Schools are hip to the game. So I don’t see the sense in pretending to complain.

    • 16. Yossel wrote:

      Well stated. I find it stressful when I walk into a store where some well-dressed person perfectly capable of working (he is, but he’s “off the books”), pulls out his “Benefit” card and pays for his purchase on MY tax money, then gets into his brand new leased Honda Accord and drives off!

  • 18. Chaya wrote:

    Where can I sign up for this?
    Sperlin is raising the rent every year or two, hundreds of dollars! People who are living paycheck to paycheck while he becomes more greedy. :(

    Reply
    • 19. Milhouse wrote:

      If you think you can find a cheaper apartment, move! If you can’t, then your landlord is not being greedy, he just doesn’t want to give you a present. Why should he? Do you expect the supermarket to sell you things for less than they’re worth, just because you’re struggling? Car dealers? Baby sitters? Would you turn down a well-paying job and accept one for less money because the second employer can’t afford to pay more?! So why do you expect your landlord to do that?

    • 20. really? wrote:

      the family gets so much government funding you would think they would lower the rent!!

    • 21. Elise Goldin wrote:

      Hi Chaya,
      If you’re interested in joining the tenant union, our next meeting is March 13th at 7pm at 727 classon (at Prospect). We’d love to have you!

  • 23. Owner wrote:

    Think about if the tables were switched here.
    if you were an owner and you got your hands on one of these building, of course you would want these tenants who have been living in these apartments for 30 years and paying very minimal rent.

    if you get them out, you can raise the rent from probably couple hundred dollars a month to 2k easily.
    don’t be so quick to judge.

    Reply
  • 25. homeowner wrote:

    Do you know that the taxes, insurance, heat, water etc. has gone up for the landlord? Do you know that we had to pay $1,000 when the city fixed the sidewalk in front of our house without giving us a choice? Do you know that we had tenants who moved out and still owe a year’s rent (thousands of dollars)? (This is what we counted on to pay our mortgage?) Do you know that it rained into our basement and costs thousands to fix (now with the big snow)? Do you know that a landlord can have an empty apartment and couldn’t pay the mortgage? Do you know when the tenant illegally runs his electric line to someone else’s line so you pay for his electricity which he runs air condition all day and night?
    Come on, tenants think they are “paying for your house”. Yes, it is hard. So is tuition, so is food. So is your vacations and camps and new leased car. Stop kvetching and grow up. If you were the landlord you would also want the people to move so you could get more rent. If these people are paying below going rate why should they get away with it? Also stop blaming others (especially right away saying Yidden are to blame – you sound like a self hating Jew)

    Reply
  • 26. sperlin wrote:

    are you in a sperlin rental? we MUST form a union for repairs!! if they want to raise our rent. we are worse then their mice! at least their mice are not harassed and kept safe and alive!

    Reply
  • 27. Sruly C wrote:

    Lol, we are all in the same boat, the Jews out priced the African Americans in regards to property ownership, and rentals and now the YUPPEIS out priced us Lubavitchers.

    Yungeliet can’t afford $2,000 for a 2 bedroom and $1,800 is the going rate for ugly ones.

    Reply
  • 28. Maybe Just Maybe wrote:

    Tenants don’t begin to understand what it takes to operate a building. Expenses are sky rocketing from taxes and water&sewer, electric , insurance, supplies .. It in the tens of thousand .. Landlords don’t have a choice. They need to make a living too.. The measly 100 increase doesn’t add up to big shakes compared the expenses increases which are not in their control

    So guys relax !!

    Reply
  • 29. the problem wrote:

    The problem is these resnt ubsidied create an artificial shortage of apt.s a raise prices!

    Reply
  • 30. shame on people who wrote:

    shame on people who do no research and jump that the owners are jewish frum. they are not.

    Reply
    • 31. Exactly wrote:

      Take that “sad” and “TO #1″. Self hatred, low self esteem and empty lives.

  • 32. to sperlin wrote:

    yes I agree with you!! its one thing when they raise the rent. its their attitude! NO mentshlichkiet a nightmare to deal with

    Reply
  • 33. Be fair wrote:

    If someone is still paying the going rent of 30 years ago,why should the landlord not try to get a. Decent rent. Also what kind of person are you to gleefully try to blame frum people. you are not the type of people we want in CH. you don’t like it leave. The landlords are struggling just as much as you if not more. Please fargin another Yid.
    Sorry that you are such a bitter person. Do teshuvah and don’t be so jealous that you don’t own your own home as you are dreaming about. Everything is bashert. Maybe if you start not begrudging others you will also merit. Besuros tovos.

    Reply
  • 34. Tenant scum wrote:

    -You can’t have cheap rent and expect your landlord to have enough money left over for repairs (usually caused by damage that is caused by the tenants).

    -Stop bothering your landlord because you are used to getting everything free from the government (paid for of course by the landlords taxes..).

    -Focus your attention instead on educating your youth not to beat up/mug/grope innocent Jewish people.

    Reply
  • 35. Anonymous wrote:

    You guys are all so ridiculous….. They pay nothing… Absolutely nothing for rent!! Then they want repairs???? Hell no. They don’t deserve anything. They pay 300 rent. Kick them out

    Reply
  • 36. homeless in Crown heights wrote:

    To Citizen Berel – this has nothing to do with hate. There are poor people literally being forced from their homes by other people’s greed. To homeowner: Do you know what it feels like to live in Crown heights on a teacher’s salary?? To assume that poor people are lying to get handouts is only your yetzer hara playing tricks on you, so you don’t have to do the great mitzva of helping the poor. The housing crisis in Crown heights must be addressed, and I am happy to hear that tenants are protesting. Hashem “saves the poor from one stronger than he, the poor and the destitute from one who would rob him!”

    Reply
    • 37. Milhouse wrote:

      Poor people are not being forced from their homes. They are being forced from someone else’s home, because they are unwilling or unable to pay what it’s worth to live there. Why should the owner let them live there for less? Would you sell something for less than it’s worth, just because the customer is poor?! Would you work for a poor person for less money when a richer person is willing to pay you more?! So why do you expect landlords to do what you wouldn’t?

      If you can’t afford your rent, try asking your landlord for tzedokoh to help pay the rent you owe him. But be clear that it would be tzedokoh, a donation from him to you, and his tzedokoh budget may already be committed elsewhere. He has no obligation to give you tzedokoh just because you happen to be his tenant.

    • 38. Yossel wrote:

      Based on those I know who are teachers, their school (men anyway) pays them “off the books” at least in part, plus they get “parsonage” and can buy a house in the Yeshiva’s name. This still goes on, I know people in “Jewish jobs” in the community who are off the books, and on the programs.

    • 39. Elise Goldin wrote:

      Thanks for your lovely words. If you are interested in attending the next meeting, we are meeting on Thursday, March 13th at 7pm at 727 Classon Ave (at Prospect) at the Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.
      Best,
      Elise

  • 40. unfathomable wrote:

    Rest stabilized apartments are ridiculous. Have you ever heard of gas stabilization or water stabilization or heat stabilization. Cost of living is always increasing. Should landlords host tenants as a community service with constantly dropping profits? How ironic that they don’t want to pay their fair share yet come with a list demands. Perhaps when I go to buy meat I should protest that the hither ‘ s prices aren’t the same as they were 25 years ago. The sick entitlement attitude sweeping across our country is frightening.

    Reply
  • 41. CH resident... wrote:

    Rents in CH – and all over NYC – are high. This is true. And many people simply don’t earn enough to easily afford rent in this city. I would like to point out that in CH there are a number of gov’t subsidized apartment bldgs — Section 8. These were created to help lower-income families find housing in this neighborhood. What’s the story with these buildings now? I’ll tell you: there are a number of such apartments being rented by people who OWN HOUSES (bought under someone else’s name perhaps). They continue to live in their gov’t subsidized apartments and collect rent from their houses to pay the house’s mortgage, thereby building a nest egg for themselves. Maybe they legitimately qualified for Sec.8 when they initially rented their apartment, but then they came into an inheritance or whatever…. There are people whose families have grown up, who no longer need three bedrooms, who still live in their 3 bdrm Sec.8 apartment. There are people who don’t even live in their apartments — just keep them, vacant, refusing to reliquish them to the landlord to rent to some other low-income young family.
    Is there any way to address this situation?

    Reply
  • 43. they should have known wrote:

    The company that bought the building should have known that the building has rent stabilized apartments before they bought it. The city or state, on the other hand, should raise the rents on rent-stabilized apartments to meet landlords expenses and so landlords could earn a profit. If the tenants can’t pay the landlord, the city or state should.

    Reply
  • 44. TO #4 AND #5 wrote:

    You both talk like you knew the rebbe Well did you Know there is a Very Good Reason He wanted to be laid at rest in Queens Not Brooklyn…. Kosher Wise Food for Kosher Wise thoughts!

    Reply
  • 45. cher wrote:

    i do understand millhouses point but something else has to be looked at also.some tenants can not afford to pay the full rent & if the landlord would charge the full rent the tenant would have no choice but to sleep in the streets as a homeless person.having a roof over your head is not a luxury.its a necessity that everybody needs to survive.

    yes everything that millhouse said is true but something else has to be looked at also.alot of people are dependent on cheap rent just to have a roof over their heads & if not for the cheap rent alot of these tenants would be sleeping in the streets as homeless people.how would you feel seeing a homeless person knowing that the only reason why he is homeless is because he can not afford the high rent?how would you feel seeing something like that?

    cher

    Reply
    • 46. Not landlords fault wrote:

      If the person cannot afford rent, then they should apply to government/Tzedakah organizations for help.

      Forcing the landlord to give charity is not fair nor right.

  • 47. yes wrote:

    Rent is high in NYC. However other cost are a lot cheaper such as food etc. you dont really need a car but out of town do and the the gas n insurance.
    so it may ballence it out

    Reply
  • 49. Don't understand wrote:

    How can the tenants demand that their rent be frozen for FIVE years? From what I hear, food stamps have increased a whopping %30 in far less than five years, presumably based on the fact that the cost of food has increased markedly. It’s fair to ask, based on what logic should the landlord not be permitted to raise rents for five years? BTW, not everyone living in a rent stabilized apartment is needy; they may just be lucky. To the negative thinkers: no, I’m not a landlord.

    Reply
  • 50. Jewish dude wrote:

    People who are orthodox Jewish need to live in Brooklyn. Also as they have large families they need extra help. By giving them cheap and large housing and monetary help we make this world better. People who are not frumm can live anywhere but Orthodox Jewish people need to have a synagogue within walking distance.

    Reply

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