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Stop Displacement in Crown Heights!

This petition had 2,153 supporters

We called this neighborhood home when no one else would. Now that its changing, our landlord wants to kick us out.

We are the Tenants Association of 285 Schenectady and 1646 Union Street in Crown Heights, one of New York City's most rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. In 2014, our building was sold to Renaissance Realty, a speculative group that is trying to capitalize on our neighborhoods new found popularity. Last year they raised rents in our buildings between 50% to 120%: well beyond what we can afford. If we don’t fight back we will be kicked out of the neighborhood some of us have called home for nearly 30 years.

We're calling on Mayor de Blasio to stand with tenants and call on Renaissance Realty to stop pushing 62 working class families out of our homes. Without this, we will be become homeless.

In 1986, Crown Heights was known as "Dodge City" and our current homes were vacant and abandoned. The buildings were renovated using city and federal funds, and in exchange, were subject to an affordability agreement that designated our buildings as rent regulated. But a loophole has put us at risk as our neighborhood gentrifies. Renaissance Realty would rather see a different kind of people in what they hope to turn into luxury apartments.

All across the country real estate speculators are buying up property in neighborhoods that were once considered hopeless. Areas of Oakland, LA, San Jose, San Francisco and New York, once disregarded are now coveted. But for the people who called them home long before the first cafe moved in, the neighborhood is more than a quick buck. We persevered through the decades of high crime, fought for better public services and made sure our children got the best education, in schools that were often underfunded.

We fought for our neighborhood. As it changes, we should be able to stay and enjoy it.

Our situation is dire, but we have hope. We are working with the Crown Heights Tenant Union and Brooklyn Legal Services to take back our buildings and win our eviction cases. But we need your support. When people work together, we all win. Mayor de Blasio has vowed to address the displacement that happens when neighborhoods gentrify. Please help us make sure he keeps his word. Call on Mayor de Blasio to stand with us as we fight for our homes.

Read this story about our building here and here.

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