Filed under: Action, Announcement, Housing, Northeast
Report from ongoing rent strike in Brooklyn, New York, which has now entered its six month.
Since April 1, the majority of tenants at 1234 Pacific Street, Brooklyn, NY, have been on rent strike. Many of these tenants are unable to pay rent as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and others are withholding their payment in solidarity with their neighbors.
1234 Pacific was among the first buildings to collectively strike in response to the pandemic, and has since been joined by many others taking collective action with the Housing Justice for All and Right to Counsel coalitions, representing the largest coordinated rent strike in New York in almost a century.
The building’s landlord, Isaac Schwartz, owns at least 50 buildings in New York City and has been featured repeatedly on the Public Advocate’s “Worst Landlord Watchlist.” Pacific Management has thus far refused to negotiate with the tenant association or offer any rent relief.
In the last month alone, the fire department has been called to the building twice. First, a child became stuck in the elevator. The next week, a gas leak was discovered in a vacant unit, necessitating the door to that unit be broken down. In addition, management has
refused to adequately address the security of the front door, although there have been at least two cases of harassment by strangers this year, as well as persistent package theft. September 1 will mark the sixth month of rent strike at 1234 Pacific Street. To commemorate the occasion, the Crown Heights Tenant Union (CHTU) and Crown Heights Mutual Aid (CHMA) will join us for a banner drop and celebration rally on Tuesday, September 1, at 6pm in front of the building.
Three bills have been proposed in the state legislature that would address the needs of the tenants, unhoused people, and small landlords in New York: Cancel Rent (A8802/A10826); Eviction Moratorium (S8667/A10827); and the Housing Access Voucher Program (S7628A/A9657). A delegation from the 1234 Pacific Street Tenant Association will seek a meeting with State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, asking her to support these bills.
Representatives of the 1234 Pacific Street Tenant association are available for press inquiries. Please reach out to [email protected] or on Twitter @1234PacificPowr and someone will reply as soon as possible.