For over two decades, the rent stabilized tenants at 196 Huron have dealt with unimaginable conditions in their apartments. The mold is so pervasive, it grows on their beds, on their clothes, and throughout their apartments. They’ve suffered without exterminations for severe infestations of bedbugs, roaches, mice, rats, spiders, and moths. Ceilings have collapsed and gaping holes in the walls or ceilings have been left unrepaired. They’ve dealt with a lack of essential services such as heat and hot water in the winter and electrical not working properly. The tenants’ pleas for repairs to their landlord were not met with any concerned attention. At some point in or around early 2019, the six unit building was placed on the market for $3.5 million, with the listing promising the building would be delivered vacant. Following the listing, the landlord offered each tenant a $20,000 buyout, which they all refused. After their refusal, their rent was no longer collected and they received improper termination notices for failing to pay their rent.
The tenants decided to band together with the leadership of organizers from longtime community partner St. Nick’s Alliance and our legal representation. They started a rent strike and took their landlord to housing court. They litigated a case about repairs and harassment and are currently requesting the appointment of a 7A administrator. HPD supports the appointment of a 7A administrator and the building is in the AEP program. Despite HPD’s support of the tenant, conditions at the building are still deplorable. The tenants continue to fight to live peacefully and comfortably in their home.