St. Nicks Alliance and Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A empowered residents of an eight-unit building and recently prevented their eviction. The tenants’ troubles started when their building was sold and the new owner began to use different strategies from low-bar buy-outs to refusing to repair and maintain the building to get them to leave. Most of the tenants of 230 Manhattan Avenue have made it their home for more than two decades. They had long-established ties to the neighborhood, and they helped build this community. They had every reason to stay.
The fight to stay in their homes began in May 2017 when they learned of their rights by going to United Neighbors Organization (UNO) meetings and received needed advocacy and tools to organize their efforts from St. Nicks Alliance and Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A. This past February the tenants held a rally with their advocates to call attention to the lack of heat and lapse in needed repairs being used to harass them to leave their homes. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined them at the rally.
Recently the tenants finally claimed victory and have more solid assurance they can stay in their homes. UNO celebrated this victory with a block party in front of 230 Manhattan Avenue that was open to the community.
“We are truly honored to partner with St. Nicks Alliance and it’s great organizing team led by Rolando. Our joint victory here, together with the tenants, led on our side by the great holistic legal work of our Group Unit’s Sam Chiera,” said Marty Needelman, Chief Counsel Emeritus of Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A
Samuel Chiera, Attorney with Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A said, “We told the tenants that if they remained united, it wouldn’t be easy, but they would win! The tenants were steadfast in their resolution not to be harassed out of their apartments many of whom have called home for decades. It took over a year and a half of fighting with the new and aggressive landlord, but the tenants can claim victory.”
“The tenants of 230 Manhattan Ave are all great people and very united. The owner used an array of tactics to try to displace them. Tenants fought back and exercised their right to withhold rent, rallied, and showed up together in court,” said Laura Hofmann, of St. Nicks Alliance Community Preservation.
Rolando Guzman Deputy Housing director for community Preservation happily manned the grill and served up hot dogs, “The pressure on rent regulated tenants is incredible in this housing market. So many landlords buy these properties with the clear intent of illegally forcing out residents. Fortunately residents through St Nicks Alliance and UNO are learning their rights and uniting to stop forced illegal evictions, “said Guzman
SNA Preservation Stopped Eviction SNA Workforce Helped Resident Land a Good Job.
St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development’s Beatrice Brown and Milton Brown also attended the block party. In addition to enjoying the festivities, they handed out flyers for job trainings and adult education.
Julio Rivera, an UNO member spied Beatrice and said, “You changed my life and got me a job at Woodhull Hospital.” He also let her know that he’s worked there for two years.
Milton Brown, the retention specialist at St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development, was also given credit by Julio. “Milton Brown made such a difference for me. Before going to St. Nicks Alliance Workforce I was down and did not think I could get a job. Milton really helped me! I went through Milton’s training, and once I graduated Beatrice sent me to Woodhull Hospital. The next day I got hired,” said Julio
“The most satisfying part of our job is when we are able to assist individuals in making positives changes in their lives. I am also equally glad to hear about the stoppage of the mass illegal evictions. Homelessness has become one of the worse outcomes of the declining economy. Saturday, 09/22/18, in a particular section of Brooklyn was a good day,” said Milton