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Harlem tenants protest for repairs

Cyril Josh Barker | 7/14/2016, 12:36 p.m.
The tenants of 295 W. 150th St. in Harlem held a press conference and rally outside of their building Wednesday, ...
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The tenants of 295 W. 150th St. in Harlem held a press conference and rally outside of their building Wednesday, the evening before their court hearing for a building-wide Housing Part action against their landlord, Yitzchnk Horowitz.

Residents, with the help of Legal Aid and the Met Council on Housing, have demanded that repairs be made since November 2015. The tenants spoke out against the ongoing disrepair in their apartments and building, illegal overcharges and interference with tenant organizing.

The tenants believe they are victims of gentrification and displacement. They say that while long-term tenants wait months and even years for urgent repairs, the landlord chooses instead to renovate apartments so they can charge higher rent and eventually deregulate the entire building.

“We have been waiting for too long for our landlord, Yitzchnk Horowitz, to make repairs to our apartments and buildings,” said Orlando Cotto, tenant association leader. “I have been demanding repairs since I moved into this apartment building four years ago. It is clear where management’s priorities are when I see that they make time to make repairs to empty apartments. Management is currently fixing up five empty apartments, four of which were the homes of my neighbors who were evicted in the past year.”