The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

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.

Monday, April 14, 2014

But One Example of Racial Housing Discrimination

Sometimes landlords can't tell the decent folk from the bad, but they've decided to make the place more attractive to those willing to pay higher rents. So they do what any good racist would do, and try their darndest to switch out the blacks for whites. Much easier to determine race than character.

Tomorrow, a press conference is scheduled to broadcast a lawsuit against one such building on Hawthorne. It's notoriously hard to prove racial discrimination. Let's hope the plaintiffs have their case in order.

Tenants File Federal Lawsuit Against Landlords Who Target Black Renters

Suit alleges violations of Fair Housing Act, New York State and New York City Human Rights laws 

WHAT: Press conference announcing the filing of a federal lawsuit against a landlord who has aggressively harassed and targeted Black tenants in an effort to displace them from Prospect-Lefferts Gardens apartments.

WHO:   Tenants, Flatbush Tenant Coalition, Attorneys from Legal Services NYC’s Brooklyn program, Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna, Council Member Mathieu Eugene
WHERE: 414 Hawthorne Street, Brooklyn, 11225 (Map)

WHEN: Tuesday, April 15th, 9:30 AM

WHY: Tenants and advocates will announce the filing of a federal lawsuit against landlords who have aggressively harassed and targeted Black tenants in an effort to compel them to move so that their apartments can be rented almost exclusively to younger, white tenants. The landlords’ discriminatory tactics have included refusing to cash Black tenants’ rent checks for months on end and then sending rent demands for tens of thousands of dollars, refusing to make repairs, and bringing baseless housing court cases against Black tenants. Since purchasing these buildings a few years ago, the landlords have succeeded in pushing out approximately 20 families out of a total of 52. Plaintiffs (eleven tenants and the Flatbush Tenant Coalition) allege violations of the Fair Housing Act and the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws.

7 comments:

Barbara Ann Rogers said...

Once again, this is not in PLG - it's the other side of NY Ave, which is the eastern boundary of the neighborhood. Such is the price of fame, I guess.

Duane Joseph said...

Does it matter that this isn't PLG? Who established the boundaries anyway? The fact is that these people are OUR neighbors and are dealing with a very common practice affecting OUR neighborhood.

Maybe I should stop giving a crap about anyone that lives a few blocks away from me because according to the landlords and realtors I'm not in PLG. This constant talk about boundaries by PLG "proper" residents and residents of LM is what helps perpetuate the discord amongst neighbors in OUR neighborhood.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Right, Dwayne. Also, this is just the guy who got caught. It's like the rat that you SEE rather than the ones that are all around you.

I know Barbara is being ironic, but I started this blog partly because I felt very strange about the weird dividing lines. I write more about the things that happen north of me because I'm in that precinct and community board, but I actually wish I had a partner here who could focus more on the areas south and west of me. Duane and Elizabeth C have been my eyes and ears in CB14 and the 70th Precinct, and I very much feel part of their neighborhood. Plus, I'm not a fan of the letters PLG to define the neighborhood, but I'll let the OLD-timers hang on to it if they like. :)

Barbara Ann Rogers said...

I'm not saying I don't care about our neighbors, I just find it frustrating that suddenly we're the "it" neighborhood and now everyone wants to be part of us. PLG is part of Flatbush (its boundaries were established in the 1970s with the founding of PLGNA, although Lefferts Manor pre-dates that). It wasn't made up by real estate brokers, but by neighbors who wanted to establish a community here, and I think it's irresponsible and often deliberately deceptive to mis-use the name.

I care as much about people suffering from housing discrimination in Bed-Stuy, Clinton Hill, Bay Ridge, or any other neighborhood you can think of - it's both legally and morally wrong.

But the sense of a neighborhood is highly individual. I don't consider these people to be my neighbors, except in the larger sense in that we're all each others' neighbors, but that doesn't mean I don't care about them. I personally don't feel connected at all to CB14 and the 70th, but that doesn't mean I don't care about what happens to people there. Perhaps if I lived farther south I'd feel differently.

cali said...

Clarkson Flatbed THANK YOU for reporting on this whether it is PLG or not. This is a serious issue that needs to be widely discussed and publicized, even though we are witnessing this behavior all over NYC. I HOPE THAT THE TENANTS WIN THE CASE.

Duane Joseph said...

These folks are 250 ft outside PLGNA's boundaries... I can see how it's difficult to have a connection with them or, G-d forbid, consider them neighbors.

Flatbush Tenant Coalition said...

Thanks for reporting on the discrimination case. You're right that this is just the one guy who got caught, but we're hoping it will send a message to all the other guys who are doing. And to tenants: we know Homewood is not alone in experiencing this, and we are fighting back! Take a look for more info: www.facebook.com/flatbushtenantcoalition