Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Knickerbocker Tenants Hit with Buy Out Notice

Along with Castleton (Staten Island) and General Sedgwick (Bronx), Knickerbocker Plaza (Manhattan) was recently hit with a notice that their landlord plans to buy out of the Mithcell Lama program.

Without the cultural history of Genderal Sedgwick -- this development produced hip hop artist Kool Herc -- Knickerbocker lacks the same creative option to avoid buy out. (Sedgwick tenants are working to get their building historic landmark status.) But Knickerbocker tenants are organizing as energetically as ever, and recently secured a piece in the New York Times featuring this photograph.

Support Castleton, Sedgwick, Knickerbocker, Starrett City and all Mitchell Lama tenants -- organize for affordable housing and Mitchell Lama preservation!


Although shocked by our buy out notice --we thought it was due much later --
we remain united in our effort to make sure that all the tenants, not only enhanced voucher-eligible tenants, get the right to remain in their apartments.

Loss of Knickerbocker Plaza from the affordable housing pool would be a tragedy, as would be the loss of other Mitchell Lama developments. I look around my neighborhood and see nothing but luxury housing or walk-up tenements where the median monthly rent is $2,500 and I am shocked. In a way, getting rid of all affordable housing is akin to "financial cleansing." Luxury or market rate housing produces a very transient community. Affordable housing is the strong thread in the fabric of a community – it means stability.

This is a sad day because of the lack of foresight of our city planners. We have worked very hard to get legislation to preserve affordable housing. Unfortunately, immediate financial gain by owners who do not live in our community is superseding the will and ability of our city’s affordable housing planners. Let's keep working to get preservation legislation. It's the tenants’ only hope.


L said...

We must be united and form a strong coalition to stop these buys out from the very rich. We are human beings not vultures who have worked to long for a decent affordable apartment to live in. It is time we create a strong force and stop these buy outs from displacing the middle class.

Catalin said...

More money to the federal reserve going to the same greedy people who control everything. We are living hard times.

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