Finally mainstream media has taken a close look at something those of us on my block have known for some time. Barry Hers, landlord of 60 Clarkson, is getting rich by running a slum. Not the usual way of refusing to provide basic services to tenants. Oh, he does that all right, and his building is a rat-infested hellhole for the few hundred folks living under his greedy thumbs. But he's figured out how to double or triple his take - make a contract with the City's Department of Homeless Services to rent out his apartments for $3K a month to...homeless families. As if the indignity of putting yourself at the mercy of the City isn't bad enough, for the taxpayer's money comes moldy walls, broken plumbing, bedbugs, cracking paint, leaks, and occasionally no hot water or heat in winter.
It's an outrage. The Q tried his darndest to get attention to the matter, even meeting with CAMBA (the social service agency charged with overseeing the clients in the building) and trying to get a meeting with DHS. I sent out emails to a lot of folks in the media, but interestingly not to WNYC, who actually picked up the story today. No matter how the piece made it to the always on-it Cynthia Rodriguez, I'm glad to see our friend Vina getting a chance to tell the story from an actual tenant's perspective. There are only a few rent paying tenants left in the building, and they're getting SQUEEZED to leave. We're talking good people, folks. Not thugs or nuisances. Mr. and Mrs. King, for instance, have been here for 40 years, helping hold the block together while most newcomers wouldn't have dreamed of living here. It's heartbreaking really. The wife has always noted what a gorgeous building is 60. In fact, back in the day it was where "the rich people lived," according to twins Sandy and Randy who've lived on the block their whole lives.
The story's here: WNYC on 60 Clarkson.
Thanks Cynthia. Everyone, please, forward this story to whomever you know who could actually see Mr. Hers pay for his inhumanity, and change a system that allows slumlords to get rich off of all of us. Yuch.
The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.