Tenants of six apartment buildings in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and on the border of Bedford-Stuyvesant, are planning a rally outside 193 Bedford Avenue tonight at 6 p.m., to protest what they and their lawyers say is “a shocking pattern of arson fires, unauthorized demolitions, and Building Department (DOB) vacate orders” by landlords allegedly want to replace them with newer tenants willing to pay higher rents.
The site at 193 Bedford Avenue currently has three active violations against it, as well as a partial stop work order for unsafe scaffolding and a partial vacate order since their last inspection on July 10. The 2nd through 5th floors were deemed by the DOB to be “not structurally sound.”
Domingos Fialho, a former tenant at 193 Bedford, is living with his baby in temporary housing elsewhere in the city while his wife, Tranquilina, is in the hospital in a “semi-coma” and “near death” from dangerous conditions at the apartment, caused by demolition begun by new landlord, Isaac Jacob, while they were still tenants.
With the help of the People’s Firehouse, Fialho took the issue to housing court, resulting in tenants being ordered to vacate the building because of the damage – as opposed to the damage being ordered repaired. He is currently hoping to challenge that decision with help from Brooklyn Legal Services, which is one of several community organizations expected to be present at the rally.
The other organizations involved are Southside United/Los Sures, St. Nick’s Alliance, People’s Firehouse, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, North Brooklyn Development Corporation, and Churches United for Fair Housing. They have teamed up to form Mobilization Against Displacement (MAD).
Other addresses whose tenants are calling for city action include 172 North 8th Street, 167 Bedford Avenue, 79 South 6th Street, 684 Flushing Avenue, and 202 Franklin Street in Greenpoint.