Filed under: Announcement, Housing, Southeast
The tenant union of Stonybrook Apartments, a section 8 complex in West Palm Beach, is calling for a nationwide call-in day to stop the illegal retaliations that threaten to leave their key organizers homeless during the week of Christmas.
The residents of Stonybrook Apts are facing a serious emergency. After organizing and fighting for years for safe housing, nine of the key tenant leaders have been slapped with retaliatory, illegal evictions. They did nothing to deserve it except speak out against toxic mold, asbestos, sewage, rats, and roaches making their children sick. They were told these conditions were “their fault.” They knew it wasn’t true – not a word of it. So they organized, protested, petitioned, withheld rent, and even filed a class action lawsuit. They kicked, screamed, shouted, and hoped somebody would listen.
For shining the spotlight on the actual guilty parties – the slumlords, city, and HUD – they were rewarded with 24-hour eviction notices enforced by the sheriff’s office. Two of the residents facing eviction are elderly (in their 60’s). All of them filed legal affidavits about airborne asbestos, mold spores, and sewage in their units. All of them are now being thrown out on the streets for speaking out, just days before Christmas, and none of them have anywhere to go.
The psychological and physical toll on these families since these evictions were rammed through has been unbearable. The tenants can’t rest, eat, or even go about their daily routines. It’s like a “partial death.” They now have to spend their Christmas waiting for Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to show at any moment and throw their belongings on the streets. Their fates hang in the balance, and it’s slowly killing them.
With seemingly nothing to lose, some have even barricaded themselves in their own units. Others are desperately searching for emergency housing, but although this is one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. absolutely none is available. These are some of the poorest families in Palm Beach County. They have nowhere to turn to. The situation is dire. It was already bad enough to live in deplorable conditions that were slowly killing their children – inflicting irreversible damage to their respiratory and nervous systems for life. This latest attack only adds insult to the injury of living in what is often called a “toxic prison” hellhole.
Toxic Prison Housing in Trump’s Backyard
Five miles away sits Trump’s winter home of Mar-A-Lago, located in Palm Beach island, one of America’s wealthiest zip codes. The contrast between the conditions of Stonybrook – known as “Florida’s Flint” – and this paradise for execs, developers, and the president himself is like something out of a Dickens novel. In this county of extreme wealth, the families of Stonybrook are ordered to stay silent about the well-documented toxic conditions poisoning their children, or be homeless. But they didn’t sit quietly.
They instead stepped up to do what the city and HUD failed to: they fought to hold the slumlord Frank Sinito accountable for his promises and for his basic obligations as a landlord. Since then they’ve been subject to non-stop mafia-like terror in response, including but not limited to vandalism of their property, trespassing orders, threats and intimidation, random inspections, armed security and surveillance, snitches, turncoats, and harassment even at their place of work. Now they are facing the worst wave of terror yet from this nationally notorious slumlord.
If these families aren’t allowed a moment of rest, then neither should the mafia spawn turned slumlord Frank Sinito. Why should he get to enjoy the holidays in his 5,000 square foot house in the Cleveland suburbs while he throws families out of his slums and into the streets? This is a real life Ebenezer Scrooge. Let’s keep at him day and night. Give him no rest, respite, or peace. We are his ghosts of Christmas and he will see us whether he likes it or not.
How You Can Help
We are asking comrades across the country to call in to Frank Sinito’s company Millennia Housing and/or email him directly. Maybe if they know enough people are putting pressure on them they might be ready to drop these evictions and end their long campaign of terror against the residents of Stonybrook.
The day for the call in is Monday, December 23rd. Please let everyone know!
Millennia Housing Management can be reached by phone at: 216-520-1250, extension 771
Sinito’s Email: [email protected]
If comrades in Cleveland would like to pay them a visit they can be found at:
Millennia Housing Management, Ltd.
4000 Key Tower
127 Public Square
Cleveland, OH 44114-1309
If you post anything on twitter about the mass eviction in Stonybrook we ask you do so with the hashtag #NoChristmasEvictions . Let’s get it trending!
Tell Sinito to DROP the nine retaliatory evictions NOW. Tell him this is clearly illegal retaliation, witness tampering, and civil rights violations. Tell him that we won’t tolerate this abusive behavior and that he will hear from us until they end this latest attack on the basic dignity and rights of Stonybrook tenants.
It’s bad enough Sinito is neglecting his duties as landlord to remediate the toxic mold, asbestos, rats, roaches, and sewage in the complex. To evict tenants who are voicing their concerns and during Christmas only adds insult to the injury of living in this toxic hellhole.
Let Sinito know that his basis for the evictions – that the tenants damaged property – is completely bogus. By his company’s own admission, Stonybrook is in total disrepair, and any reported “damage” has only been done by three years of his company’s own abuse, neglect, and failure to make obligatory repairs.
Also, if this is about damages, why did Sinito wait until after the recent series of tenant protests covered on the local media, and the fact that the manager threatened to evict anyone who attended? Why is he targeting key well-known tenant leaders and named parties to the class action suit? We don’t buy this bogus basis for a second.
Not only do we demand that Sinito drop these illegal evictions now, we demand he put a moratorium on ALL evictions until he starts and finishes the $17 million renovation he’s promised, and until Stonybrook is brought up to code.
Mutual Aid Needed Now!
Please donate whatever you can – even $5 could help relieve these difficult times for the tenants and ease their minds. These families need funds for possibly relocation costs, moving costs, storage units, whatever can help them stay afloat. Many are in Stonybrook are there for a reason: they can’t afford to move, so eviction means the real threat of homelessness. We MUST not let this happen.
The link to the Stonybrook eviction fund is here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/stonybrook-eviction-defense
If you have CashApp, you can give direct help to: $ Ahmere5
Please share it around!
Together we can liberate Stonybrook.
We refuse to be intimidated!
The Palm Beach County Tenants Union can be reached at +1 414-909-9186
or at http://www.pbctu.org
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