Housing/apartment (280807)
Housing/apartment Credit: Bill Moore photo

In theory “Good Cause Eviction Protection” is a good cause. However, the reality is there is no such thing as a free lunch or a free apartment. Somebody has got to pay the rent, whether it is the city, state or federal government. Small homeowners and tenants are being pitted against each other to pay the rents, so we can save our homes—our generational wealth.

The state and city should adopt a “SHELTER in PLACE” theory. I have submitted this plan to several elected officials. I will share later. The idea is to create a sustainable program to pay the rent of tenants who are living in the apartments and are not paying, or cannot pay. Poor small homeowners are not sheltering locations—our constitutional rights are being trampled upon.

The Rezoning Plan (PLOT) of former Mayor “Developer” de Blasio along with the “AGGRESSIVE” Tenant Protection law circa 2018 created the “Perfect Storm” of factors that are and have financially devastated small Black and Brown homeowners!

Black and Brown small homeowners were faced with the deed theft, badgering and conniving tricks of developers/speculators who descended upon Black and Brown communities before and after the rezoning, destabilizing the truly AFFORDABLE apartments in small owner-occupied buildings. The small homeowners also faced the skyrocketing costs of utilities, water, city regulations. Who allowed this? New York City Council members capitulated to, conspired with and CO-SIGNED the rezoning of poor communities in 2016.

Many small homeowners such as myself are owed tens of thousands of dollars in back rent (and we owe the banks), and are stuck with professional ‘non-paying’ tenants! The ERAP program is a joke and broke. Funding is depleted. It only allows for 12 to 15 months of rental arrears MAX, and then forces you to keep the tenant WITHOUT future guarantee of rent payments. A lot of the tenants we are stuck with owe 20, 24 up to 36 MONTHS arrears. HOW? Some landlords like myself have been stuck with tenants who were in arrears in 2019 and in court, but due to the purposeful manipulation by city-appointed judges and city-appointed lawyers for tenants [have caused] longer drawn out cases; delaying JUST EVICTIONS, preventing poor landlords from getting possession of RENT from RENT PAYING TENANTS!

Evictions [were] stalled in 2019. By the beginning (COVID-19 moratorium) of 2020 evictions were halted, making poor small landlords unpaid adjunct shelters who faced huge unpaid utility bills, and water and sewer and mortgage arrears. Now in 2022, there are pending foreclosures, which is an eviction of tenants and small homeowners who are landlords, from where they both call home.
In an article written by Emma Whitford for the Gothamist, entitled “Report: Cost of Renting Hotel Room for Homeless People Has Risen 600% Since 2015,” it was explained that the average nightly cost of housing homeless people in commercial hotel rooms, increased $82,214 to $576,203 per night, city-wide.

There is a solution to this problem, it’s in the “Win-Win-Win” housing plan. The contract between landlord and tenant is the most common deal made in New York State. When you stabilize the homeowner, you stabilize the tenant, and in that effort you stabilize the community. The proposal of the Win-Win-Win Housing Plan is an agenda to redistribute money to homeowners, to pay rent for tenants until disputes are resolved in tenant court. This is not only an idea of current substance and action, but it is a strategic plan for the betterment of our communities and a catalyst for building future generational wealth. The initial win is giving landlords, who are the anchors and major shareholders in the Brooklyn communities of Brownsville, East New York, Crown Heights, and Ocean Hill, the stability and leverage to continue to uphold their homes and meet their financial obligations, including paying mortgage, taxes, home maintenance and water bills. This will give landlords the opportunity to establish and maintain generational wealth. The second win is providing tenants a safe environment for shelter that they are familiar with. The third win is providing homeowners stability, and thus encouraging community morale, enabling landlords to timely and effectively meet their obligations, which eventually leads to a decrease in foreclosure and encouraging landlords to continue to rent to residents, decreasing evictions.

Remember, now in 2022 there are pending foreclosures which are the evictions of tenants and landlords of their homes.

Brother Paul Muhammad is the student protocol director, Nation of Islam, Mosque No. 7c; co-chair of public safety quality of life of Community Board 5 Steering Committee; land use committee member of Community Board 5 Steering Committee; and co-founder of the Coalition for Community Advancement for East New York/Cypress Hills and vice-chair of the Community Advisory Board Gotham Health ENY Diagnostic Clinic.

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  1. Thank you for putting forth a vision we hope to realize in the safe.
    Our office continues to whiteness the perfect storm of perennially underfunded social services compounded by a continued tendency to subsidize the abusive practices of developers. It’s time to #Abolish421A and #FullyFundNYCHA

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