Tenants from 230 and 232 Schenectady Avenue, supporters from the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, the Mutual Housing Association of New York and New York Communities for Change have gathered Wednesday morning at a rally in front of 3815 13th Avenue.
230 and 232 Schenectady have been in foreclosure since 2009. According to the protesters, a group of investors who bought the deeds mid-foreclosure -- represented by Sanford Solny -- are trying to make profit by flipping the rent regulated buildings. The tenants are rallying against this attempt to speculate on affordable housing in Crown Heights.
With support from tenants, housing groups, and city officials, the Mutual Housing Association of New York (MHANY) bought the mortgages on the properties in 2012, according to a release sent by the group. Since then, tenants have been working with the non-profit organization on a plan to rehabilitate the buildings and keep them affordable for current residents. The speculators’ attempts to sell off these buildings puts the community-based plan to preserve affordable housing at risk.
At the rally, protesters held signs reading "housing is a human right", among others. Some at the rally also took to social media to spread the word.