BY AMBER ALEXANDER
A large group of Crown Heights residents protested in the streets of their neighborhood ON THURSDAY to deplore the conditions of their apartments caused by a management company in the community, as well as demand fair treatment from their landlordS.
The protest began at 10:30 a.m. in front of 1030 Carroll St. with a group of tenants, collectively called the Crown Heights Tenants Union, as well as supporters who also reside in the area. It’s an anti-gentrification movement that highlights the unfair treatment, protesters say, newcomers to the neighborhood don’t receive. Attendees ranged from old-school residents who have lived in Crown Heights for over 20 years to newer residents who have lived there for five years.
“Fight, fight! Housing is a right! Hey, hey, ho, ho, these slumlords have got to go!” they chanted in front of the building, as they stood behind barricade tape reading “gentrification in progress.” They also held cardboard signs that read a range of phrases including “We pay rent, we have rights” and “Equal repairs for all.”
Lisa Matthews, a tenant of 1816 Pacific St., took center stage to tell her story, saying that in December 2014, G-Way Management, purchased her building and ripped out her boiler leaving her without heat for an entire winter.
G-Way, which specializes in luxury properties, also owns 1030 Carroll St. and has acquired multiple buildings in Crown Heights over the past few years.
“The brand new tenants are getting brand new bathrooms, kitchens, washers, dryers, dishwashers, microwaves and they’re not even fixing my ceiling,” said Dara Soukamneuth, a resident of 1030, “So what we’re demanding right now, is equality of repairs, peace from construction and a peaceful, quiet home. And we have a right to that.”
Afterward, the group marched to G-Way headquarters at 839 Classon Ave. between Lincoln Pl. and Eastern Parkway—a heavily gentrified block, where they chanted “Don’t displace us, come out an face us!” and urged it’s employees to come outside.
“All throughout this neighborhood, we have landlords and tenants who are not seeing eye-to-eye,” said Democratic Assemblyman Walter Mosley. “Not because of the added demands or the work that needs to be done to these buildings but because they just don’t want to do the right thing,” s, “If you’re a management group, manage the property!” he said.