For Immediate Release: Friday, June 28, 2019
General HPD Contact: hpdmedia@hpd.nyc.gov

 

Last Remaining Tenants in Long-Neglected Bushwick Building Fight for a Court-Appointed Administrator After Years of Abandonment and Neglect

 

Brooklyn, NY -- After years of enduring severe neglect in their building, including extensive fire damage and dozens of uncorrected housing violations, five tenants of 299 Troutman Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn are suing their landlord and asking the Housing Court to appoint a 7-A administrator to manage their building, recognize their rent stabilized rights and make their apartments habitable. The tenants of 299 Troutman sought help from Assemblywoman Maritza Davila, who referred the case to Mobilization for Justice, Inc. through their monthly legal clinic at the Assemblywoman’s district office. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development has taken swift action in this case and supports the tenants’ application for the appointment of a 7-A administrator.

“I am proud to stand with the tenants of 299 Troutman as they seek restorative justice for their building. Housing is a human right and as such no one should face vital repairs being neglected due to absentee landlords. I applaud Mobilization for Justice for assisting these tenants in their court case,” said Assemblywoman Maritza Davila.

Mobilization for Justice filed suit on behalf of the tenants in June 2019 and the parties are set to appear in court on July 11th. “The tenants at 299 Troutman have been exceedingly patient. For years, they have paid for the heating oil and removed the building trash themselves. The top two floors of this building are still completely burnt out from a fire that occurred over a decade ago. This absentee landlord has shown complete disregard for the lives of these Bushwick residents, the condition of its property, and the law, but the tenants are here, they are organized, and they do care. It’s time for a 7-A administrator to show the owner how to do its job,” said Ariana Marmora, an attorney at Mobilization for Justice who filed suit on behalf of the tenants.

“Landlords who put their tenants’ lives and well-being at risk must face strong repercussions. I support this call for an appointment that will put this property in responsible hands and allow for expedited repairs and overdue relief for these long suffering tenants,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “I thank Assembly Member Davila for her support and leadership, and the tenants and their attorneys from Mobilization for Justice for their organizing and assistance in this coordinated effort.”

“We finally have the support we need to make changes in this building,” said Maria Cordero, who has lived in the building with her husband Hector for over 20 years, and who initially reached out to Assemblywoman Davila and Mobilization for Justice for help. “After the fire, I thought there would be a difference, there would be repairs, but nothing ever happened. We have been taking care of the building ourselves for too long.”

“My question for the landlord is where have you been all this time?” said Maximillian Rivas, a 10-year tenant of 299 Troutman. “How could you let this happen to your building?”

Mobilization for Justice, Inc. provides free legal assistance in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx in four main areas: housing, disability and aging rights, economic justice and children’s rights. MFJ is committed to working to protect the safety and affordability of housing for low-income New Yorkers so they can continue to be an integral part of New York City communities.

Maria Cordero, Maximilian Rivas and their attorneys are available to speak with the press.