http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix a multi-media journal of public affairs and popular culture produced by students at Hunter College Tue, 11 Jun 2013 22:50:58 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.4 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=143 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=143#comments Thu, 23 Dec 2010 01:36:04 +0000 Zuleyka Indarte http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=143
He’s not alone. Other residents believe there is a not-so-covert agenda behind this refusal to meet the tenants’ basic requests. “The landlords are just trying to get everybody out of the buildings by not fixing anything so people have to move out,” said one woman who lives in one of the buildings. “Then they can fix it up and make it look really nice like they’ve done with two of the apartments in my building, and rent it out for $1500 or more. I wouldn’t pay money like that for this apartment. It’s small and crappy.”
Some say they have been offered money to move out, bitterly referring to it as “bribery,” though the practice is not uncommon when landlords attempt to radically increase rents and bring in new tenants. “He’s offered both me and this other family in the building $10,000 to get us to move out,” said one resident. “We’ve been living here for over 10 years, I pay $700 in rent now, that’s not nearly as much money as he can get out of new residents, so of course he’s desperate to move us out. Two of my neighbors actually took the deal and moved to another apartment building, but it’s tough to find anything for $700 anywhere.”
In a walkthrough of several of the apartments, the conditions resembled those of tenement buildings of the early 1900s. One resident pointed out the makeshift room she made for her three children where the dining room would be, a small 8’ by 8’ square. Another resident proudly showed the sliding panel doors he installed himself to give his cousin some privacy in his room. “He lived in Mexico and recently came to the U.S. and he had nowhere to stay,” he said. “I told him my apartment is really small but I can make some room for you. I turned the living room into a room for him and put this door on so he could feel like he had a room for himself. No one can bother him that way.”
Many residents of these buildings say they feel intimidated by the landlords, and in some cases, that they are being extorted. However, most are too afraid or too busy to speak up and do something about it. “I don’t want to end up having to move to another building with higher rent if I say something to the city about this,” said one resident. “I’m sure they’d condemn the building because of the conditions and we’d all have to move out. I don’t have the time or money to do anything like that anyway. I’m just trying to work to keep my wife and kids fed.”
“I feel bad complaining anyway,” he added. “At least I have a roof over my head. There are plenty out there that can’t say that for themselves.”]]> http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=143 0
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