Low-Income Brooklyn Residents Say Landlords Forcing Them Out
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Tenants and community leaders in Brooklyn rallied Wednesday to protest actions by their landlords.
They say some landlords are trying to force out low-income tenants in Williamsburg and Greenpoint to bring in higher-paying residents.
Protesters say the landlords created hazardous living conditions by doing construction work, unauthorized demolitions and even creating a questionable fire.
They say that the city responded by giving tenants a vacate order rather than punishing the landlord.
"We're trying to protect families by making sure that our most vulnerable of working poor families are able to hold on to what would be their units by educating and making sure that they understand their housing rights," said Councilwoman Diana Reyna.
"He just abandoned the building from the beginning," said tenant Roberto Gonzalez. "He was collecting the money and he didn't care if there was heat, hot water or anything. We lived two years without heat, one year without hot water."
One of the landlords, Jamal Alokasheh, says he was told by the Buildings Department that he had to fix certain things.
He says the Buildings Department removed the tenants and then brought them back after the repairs were done.
He says he had permits for all of the work he did on the building.