Harassed Low-income Tenants at 2 LES Tenements Sue Their Landlord

Posted on: September 21st, 2016 at 5:10 am by
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Let’s evoke the writer’s template again.

The events unfolding inside 247 Broome Street are like a broken record. Alleged harassment, intimidation, and bullying in the name of upscaling pre-war tenement buildings. It’s been happening around the Lower East Side for years: boot the rent regulated tenants for those willing to pay astronimcal amounts. The owner of this building, however, already has a sullied reputation in the area for reportedly doing just that.

Tenants have been battling R.A. Cohen at 135 Eldridge Street for two years due to such tactics. And the same story is apparently unfolding at its other property just two blocks east at 247 Broome.

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Bathroom in 135 Eldridge, December 2015

Those affected residents organized, and with the help of MFY Legal Services and the Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project, filed a lawsuit against R.A. Cohen. They’re holding a press conference tomorrow afternoon outside 135 Eldridge to declare and demand their rights to “safe homes.” It’ll be from 10:30 am to noon.

R.A. Cohen also owns 151 Norfolk Street, which it acquired over the summer.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

From the mailbox:

On Thursday, September 22nd, 247 Broome and 135 Eldridge Street residents, who have been subject to ongoing eviction threats and alleged harassment from R.A. Cohen Properties, will hold a press conference and rally at 135 Eldridge Street to declare their right to safe homes.  Tenants, who are predominantly low-income and Chinese, united to fight back against R.A. Cohen, who they believe is trying to push them out of their homes.  The tenants will tell their stories about the serious repair and construction issues they face.

Tenant leaders demand accountability for what they believe are R.A. Cohen’s predatory tactics to displace them from their rent-stabilized units.  The tenants at 247 Broome and 135 Eldridge Street assert their right to live in safe homes, free from landlord harassment, and without the imminent threat of displacement that many Asian immigrants in Chinatown and the Lower East Side face.

In partnership with MFY Legal Services and the Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project, tenants from both buildings filed a lawsuit against R. A. Cohen Properties to address issues related to illegal construction and repairs within the buildings.  The tenants decided to commence these cases after ongoing efforts to resolve repair and harassment issues with management proved unsuccessful.

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