Crown Heights Tenant Union gains ground in landlord disputes

Group organizes residents at more than 20 rent-regulated apartment complexes

1059 Union Street
1059 Union Street

The Crown Heights Tenant Union, led by a group of Occupy Wall Street supporters, has organized tenants at more than 20 properties in the neighborhood to fight alleged discrimination at rent-regulated apartment complexes.

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The group seeks to educate its members about housing laws with regard to landlords who illegally attempt to force out long-term residents of their rent-stabilized units. The tenant union also considers “predatory equity” to be a major problem in Crown Heights. In such cases, private equity firms buy rent-regulated buildings with plans to convert it to a market-rate rental site.

The Crown Heights Tenants Union has reached about 500 tenants and is working to link many of them up with lawyers. The group is considered more successful than Occupy Wall Street and local group Crown Heights Assembly because it is looks to unite both old and new residents with common goals, residents said. [NYT]Mark Maurer