If you’ve got a landlord from hell, you’re invited to speak out tonight and Thursday at a pair of town hall meetings held by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and veteran civil rights attorney Norman Siegel.
The goal of the “Tenant Harassment Hearings” goes beyond letting aggravated tenants vent — the idea is to identify Brooklyn’s worst landlords and spur criminal investigations and lawsuits.
“We’re not waiting for tenants to reach the end of their rope, we’re getting proactive,” said Adams in announcing the hearings last month. Adams — pictured above with Siegel (left) and tenant advocates — linked the hearings to the city’s affordable housing crunch, and noted that tenant harassment complaints in housing court have almost doubled since 2011.
Cases where criminality may be involved will be referred to the city’s Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force; potential cases 0f civil liability will be reviewed for lawsuit potential by a legal team including Siegel.
The opportunity for mistreated tenants to speak out is welcomed by advocates like Katie Goldstein, the executive director of Tenants & Neighbors, who said in the statement from Adams’ office she hears daily about “rampant harassment” by “landlords who simply have one goal — to get rent-regulated tenants out of their homes so they can renovate the apartments and raise the rents.”
The first meeting is tonight at Brooklyn Borough Hall from 6 to 8 p.m.; the second is Thursday at All Saints Church, 115 Throop Avenue in Williamsburg. There will be a third later this month on July 26, at SUNY Downstate Medical Center at 450 Clarkson Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. For more info click here.
Photo by Kathryn Kirk, via the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office