On June 13th, tenants and their allies rallied outside of the Brooklyn Housing Court to ask the court to step in to address dangerous conditions in four buildings owned by Silvershore Properties. Following the rally, the tenants headed into court, accompanied by their attorneys from the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center and Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A. They filed a petition for a court-appointed administrator, who would oversee emergency repairs to make the building safe.
Two of these properties are in North Brooklyn: 196 Kingsland Avenue and 318 Humboldt Street.
Looking at past properties purchased by Silvershore Properties, their Modus Operandi shows a neglect of building maintenance and sanitation, avoidance of repairs while making aggressive attempts to buy tenants out. Tenants have reported that Silvershore has engaged in unsafe demolition and construction to harass existing tenants as a prod for them to give up their homes.
Silvershore has also flaunted rent regulation laws in New York, by failing to register rents in several buildings. Tenants at 318 Humboldt had to petition the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) to have their rent-regulated status recognized.
DNA Info’s Gwynne Hogan reported that the landlord, Jason Silverstein, stated, “Silvershore Properties often purchases distressed properties in dire need of repairs. They renovate the buildings and part of the plan is to see which of the rent-stabilized tenants might be amendable to taking cash buyouts.”
Silvershore tenant, Angelita Badillo, stated, “We do not have a super; everything is dirty; there is garbage everywhere. People from outside come to sleep in the stairwell. The landlords do not care about us. We ask for repairs and we do not get them. New people have come to live in this building and they have moved in into renovated apartments while the old tenants have been displaced and forgotten.”
Fifth Avenue Committee, St. Nicks Alliance, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and Stabilizing NYC are partnering with tenants to demand that Silvershore address the problems. They report that the harassment and intimidation are part of a disturbing pattern of behavior by predatory landlords who are trying to force rent-stabilized tenants out.