Anti-Gentrification

ABOUT

Equality for Flatbush defines ‘gentrification’ as a concerted, deliberate effort to price out low-to-middle income residents from neighborhoods by city government, corporations, real estate developers, and landlords in favor of renting, selling, and catering to people of higher and/or more flexible incomes. We see gentrification as an intersectional issue that is deeply connected to the ways that race, class, gender, sexuality, gender identity, age, ability, nation of origin, immigration status, physical and mental capacity, etc. impact individuals and our communities.

We know from first-hand experience that the same unscrupulous property owners who use tactics to force long-time older tenants of color out of their rent-stabilized apartments will turn around and illegally overcharge incoming younger white tenants for the same apartment.

For this very reason, we believe that all of us-long-time and new residents, communities of color and white communities, low-income and middle-class people – have a stake in the urgent struggle to save affordable housing in Brooklyn.

If you are a BROOKLYN residential or commercial TENANT or HOMEOWNER

experiencing  harassment or need housing, legal or organizing resources   

please contact us at: flatbushequality@gmail.com or call /text (646)820-6039

En Español: (513) 445-8532

En Kréyol: (707) 200-3692

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

#OurHomesAreNotForSale Brooklyn-wide meeting 

WED July 17th at 6:30 – 8:30 PM

Mt. Zion Church, 203 E 37th Street, Brooklyn NY 11203

East Flatbush

Introducing Our Homes Are Not For Sale Online Resource Guide for Homeowners Fighting Displacement & Predatory Developers 

This online resource was first developed by Brooklyn homeowners at an #OurHomesAreNotforSale Strategy Session  held on May 5th 2019.  It includes listings of trusted engineers, judges, lawyers, and predatory developers, tips on how to navigate The Department of Buildings and other helpful information for Brooklyn homeowners fighting to stop displacement. We welcome additional resources.  

#OurHomesAreNotforSale is a component of BEFORE IT’S GONE // TAKE IT BACK: Documenting Brooklyn – Fighting Gentrification (B4G)   Brooklyn-wide anti-gentrification campaign of Equality for Flatbush www.equalityforflatbush.org or www.beforeitsgone.co 

To Join The #OurHomesAreNotforSale Campaign, please contact Equality for Flatbush at B4G@equalityforflatbush.orgor 646 820-6039  

It is now heading into month 2 that our beloved Scoops, one of the oldest Caribbean owned businesses on #FlatbushAve, between Lincoln and Hawthorne, was given a notice to vacate by May 31st by it’s landlord Jeremy Properties.

The community support for Scoops and it’s owner Tony Fongyit has been overwhelming resulting in several articles covering the thousands of signers of the online petition, the rally on 5/25 as well as Jeremy Properties’ promise to give Scoops a new lease. Unfortunately as of July 5th, 2019 , Tony Fongyit STILL DOES NOT HAVE A LEASE. 

Please come out to a Community Support Rally to #SaveScoops on Friday, July 19th at 6:30pm -8pm at 624 Flatbush Ave
Help Spread the word & Show that #WELOVESCOOPS
https://www.facebook.com/events/897468847261393/

Scoops, one of the oldest Caribbean owned businesses on #FlatbushAve between Lincoln and Hawthorne, has been given an 30-day notice to vacate by their landlord Jeremy Properties or they will face a legal eviction. For 35 years, Scoops has been a cultural and culinary institution in #Flatbush. Tony Fongyit, the owner of Scoops is well-known for serving amazing Ital vegetarian foods and vegan ice cream, as well as provided wellness products and advice to our community. We are asking Jeremy Properties to do THE RIGHT THING, and give Scoops a NEW LEASE. 

Tony Fongyit is asking the community to:
1: Sign & Circulate the petition : Either online or in-person at the store: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/845/888/347/save-scoops/

2. Community Support Rally to #SaveScoops on Friday, July 19th at 6:30pm -8pm at 624 Flatbush Ave

To learn more about the fight to #SaveScoops and other small businesses in #Flatbush , please WATCH
Shop Small/ Buy Local: a new Equality for Flatbush : E4F​ video produced for The Parkside Empire – Flatbush Avenue Merchants Association​ . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Zcbf1udJso
#SaveScoops #Beforeitsgone #TakeItBack #ThisisFlatbush #FlatbushForever #BrooklynIsNotforSale

CAMPAIGNS

Scroll to view information about all campaigns, or click each link below to go directly to that section.

CAMPAIGNS

Scroll to view information about all campaigns.

BEFORE ITS GONE TAKE IT BACK

BEFORE IT’S GONE // TAKE IT BACK: Documenting Brooklyn – Fighting Gentrification (B4G)  is a Brooklyn-wide neighborhood and web-based response to the crisis of gentrification of Brooklyn, NY.  www.beforeitsgone.co *

This website is a way for every day New Yorkers to tell their stories about was happening to them right now, on the ground. This is the place to share pictures and videos of OUR BROOKLYN. For us to meet your family – birth and chosen. It is the place to tell the stories about what it was like to grow up in Brooklyn or when you first arrived from Haiti, Bangladesh, Puerto Rico, Italy, Korea or wherever else. We want your footage of Old-Timers events in Red Hook, Brownsville and Bushwick. We want you to post pictures from your Quinceañeras, bar/bat mitzvahs, high school graduations, weddings, baby showers, Brooklyn LGBTQ Pride and Lunar New Year celebrations. This is the site that CELEBRATES the cultural, racial, ethnic, linguistic, social and economic diversity of #Brooklyn. #BeforeItsGone #TakeItBack

To Learn More : B4G Talking Points 2017

Create or update your profile TODAY on the 1st-ever social media platform dedicated to celebrating life in #Brooklyn and resisting #gentrification : www.beforeitsgone.co

Our main goals are to:

  1. Organize “No Eviction Zones” throughout Brooklyn – block by block, building by building
  2. Maintain the 1st ever social media platform to resist gentrification by amplifying the stories of low-to-middle income Brooklyn residents
  3. Provide vital legal, housing and community organizing resources to help keep Brooklyn residents in their homes and small businesses in our communities

B4G 2017 Statistics:

E4F receives between 1-4 calls/emails/Facebook messages a day from residents requesting housing, legal, or community organizing referrals.

  • In 2017, we conducted 45 formal intakes with homeowners, small business owners, and tenants – including NYCHA, unregulated, rent-stabilized, and rent-controlled tenants – who expressed interest in engaging in a B4G campaign

  • 25 of the 45 intakes (56%) led to either a B4G “No Eviction Zone” public campaign or an E4F private attorney taking their case

  • These 45 residents lived across 12 Brooklyn neighborhoods: Bedford-Stuyvesant/Clinton Hill, Bensonhurst, Canarsie, Crown Heights, Cypress Hill/Brownsville, East Flatbush, East New York, Flatbush, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Sunset Park, and Williamsburg.  E4F also conducted 2 campaigns for tenants living in The Lower East Side and Queens, NY .

 

Equality for Flatbush is a grassroots resident-led, volunteer-based organization that currently does not have a full-time staff or an office.

 

Tenant Work: 

Individual Tenants/Households:

  • E4F provided a Private Lawyer and/or Community Organizing Campaign for 12 individual rent-stabilized, NYCHA and unregulated  tenants or households in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Crown Heights, East Flatbush, East New York, Flatbush and Sunset Park as well as a tenant living in NYCHA housing in the Lower East Side and a rent-stabilized tenant living in Queens, NY.

  • 4 out of the 12 individual tenants or households were unregulated, meaning they have little legal protection against eviction under New York State law.

  • Through a private attorney and legal intern, E4F began legally representing and conducting interviews of clients of a supportive housing program who were being targeted for eviction by a predatory landlord

Tenant Associations/Building-wide Organizing of Rent-Stabilized Tenants:

  • In 2017, E4F engaged in tenant organizing in approximately 23 historically rent-stabilized buildings in Brooklyn.  

  • We helped to create or have supported the work of 15 Tenant Associations in 2017.

  • E4F organized or supported the work of 4 “Tenant Congresses”, where 2 or more Tenant Associations were fighting the same landlord/management company.

  • As of 12/29/2017, E4F is working with 10 Tenant Associations and is in the process of organizing 3 more. 7 of out 10 of these tenant associations are currently engaged in or in the process of filing a legal action against their landlord

Homeowners:

  • As of 12/29/2017, E4F is working on legal and/or community organizing campaigns on the behalf of 9 Homeowners in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of East Flatbush, East New York, Bed-stuy and Prospect Heights

  • 7 of the 9 Homeowners are seeking damages or fighting displacement due to real estate developers

  • All 9 Homeowners are Black or Latinx identified

Small Businesses:

  • To date, E4F has won the renewal of 3 commercial leases through private negotiation and/or community campaigns. We have also made several legal referrals, as well as provided free or low-cost legal representation to 1 small business and 1 Community Garden in Brooklyn.

  • In 2017, E4F provided legal or community organizing support for 5 long-time small business owners, 1 Merchant Association and 1 Community Garden. These business entities were located in the neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Flatbush, Park Slope and East New York

Here are also the current E4F Working Groups/Teams to Join:

Please contact us at : flatbushequality@gmail.com or (646) 820-6039. Please feel free to join our B4G Volunteers gogglegroups in the meantime: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/b4g-volunteers

CURRENT B4G CAMPAIGNS TO SUPPORT

Call to Action and for Endorsers of the Emergency Rally to Stop the Demolition of a Black Landmark #Save227Duffield

Join your neighbors, historians, community leaders and elected officials on Thursday July 25th from 6:30pm-8pm to rally in support of the landmarking of 227 Duffield and turning the site into a museum to preserve its important historic contribution to the fight against racism in the US.

Please Sign & Circulate the Petition WIDELY to stop the Demolition of a Black Landmark #Save227Duffield

Background:
227 Duffield St., located on Abolitionist Place in downtown Brooklyn, is the last known standing historic site in Brooklyn where well-known abolitionists lived and where Black people found freedom through the Underground Railroad.

Since the City’s downtown Brooklyn development plan demolished all other Duffield Street historic residences, 227 Duffield represents the last known standing property to continue the legacy of African American history of resistance in New York City and nationwide and should be preserved as a city landmark.

The demolition of 227 Duffield is imminent — Unless WE STOP It!
To Endorse: Contact Equality for Flatbush : E4F at 646 820-6039 or B4G@equalityforflatbush.org

Stay Tuned for Other Related Actions to #Save227Duffield

#BlackLandmarksMatter
#BrooklynIsNotforSale
#BlackHistoryMatters
#PerserveBlackHistory

#OURHOMESARENOTSALE

Meet Dorla Alleyne, a community activist and Bed-stuy homeowner who has lived in Brooklyn for 47 years.  For the last 4 years, Ms. Alleyne has been in a legal battle against 436 Lafayette Developers and Emma Management Group to stop the destruction of her home. Dorla is also the Coordinator of  Equality for Flatbush”s #OurHomesAreNotforSale Campaign that  defends Brooklyn Homeowners from Predatory Developers .  To get involved contact her:  646 820-6039 or email B4G@equalityforflatbush.org


New Video on struggle of Dorla Alleyne, Bed-stuy homeowner

Shot and Edited Adam Finchler for the E4F Video Strike Force :   https://youtu.be/uOz3Ite9M6M


Equality for Flatbush : E4F profusely thanks filmmaker Shaquille Romblay for this AMAZING anti-#gentrification video!

#EqualityforFlatbush Video #ThisIsFlatbush : Fighting Back Against the Corporate Rebranding of Flatbush, Brooklyn #ThisIsFlatbush #FlatbushForever #LittleCaribbean  #Beforeitsgone  #TakeItBack ​ #BrooklynisNotforSale

B4G sticker sightings:
Just a saw a #BeforeItsgone Sticker ???

Please TAKE A PICTURE &  Post it to social media using #beforeitsgone hashtag  OR  send the picture to flatbushequality@gmail.com or text (646)820-6039

B4G TENANT HARASSMENT DOCUMENTATION TEAM

Looking for more videographers and editors to volunteer on The BEFORE IT’S GONE // TAKE IT BACK (B4G) Tenant Harassment Documentation Team which is part of our ‪#‎NoEvictionZone‬ campaign.

Tenant Harassment RAMPANT & REAL! We are looking for more video and film folks to help get out the stories of courageous tenants standing up against their landlords in Brooklyn Housing Court or organizing their neighbors in their buildings. Have an idea for a project? — WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT IT!

To get involved or for more info : contact Equality for Flatbush at: flatbushequality@gmail.com

or call/text (646) 820-6039

 

 

 

 

On February 28th 2019, Equality for Flatbush received a report of tenant harassment and intimidation of 748 St Marks Ave tenant leader by a representative of the building’s management, Europi Equities LLC.

A man identifying himself as “Steve” called a tenant leader the morning of a scheduled tenant association meeting to inform her that Europi Equities knew that she had distributed flyers for the meeting throughout the building.  He then chastised her for organizing with her neighbors, as well as revealing he had personal info about where she worked.

“Steve” also told the tenant leader to NOT have the meeting scheduled for that evening and instead negotiate her issues directly with management.  THIS IS AGAINST THE LAW. Rent-stabilized tenants have a LEGAL right to organize free of intimidation, harassment or the fear of retaliation from their landlord. Here is more on the law: https://beforeitsgone.co/downloads/tenants_right_to_organize–english.pdf

Please circulate widely

2/28/19 Europi Equities Tells Tenant Leader NOT to Organize at 748 St Marks Ave

Video of “Steve” of Europi Equities LLC showing up to 748 St Marks Ave Tenants Association meeting uninvited and unannounced on October 17th 2018 . Video Edited by Jelani Fraser for the E4F Video Strike Force https://youtu.be/O4D-c8vKTs8

Please sign and circulate the Petition to help  the 748 St Marks Ave Tenants Fightback!

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/566/021/693/?cid=headerClick

Equality for Flatbush has documented severe lack of repairs at 748 St. Marks Ave. in Crown Heights. Many apartments’ amenities haven’t been renovated since tenants first moved in during the 1970s. Tenants report poor heating, rodent infestations, outdated facilities, mold, mildew, and water damage. Tenants are demanding that the landlord, Eve Vasilantonakis, make critical repairs and renovations.

Please sign and circulate the Petition to help  the 748 St Marks Ave Tenants Fightback!

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/566/021/693/?cid=headerClick

#MYNYCLANDLORD #NoEvictionZone #BeforeItsGone #TakeItBack #TenantsFightBack #CrownHeights

New Video Documenting Hazardous & Unsafe Conditions Created By Cornell Realty at 501 Lefferts Ave

Video edited by Jelani Fraser for E4F’s Video Strike Force

https://youtu.be/KLFEyb8ZE3Q

Tenants of 501 Lefferts Ave , which is owned by Isaac Hager of Cornell Realty Management, one of the largest developers in New York City, have reported that the front door of their apartment building is old and broken which poses a security risk for the residents. Residents of 501 Lefferts Ave have already been the victims of violence in their own building and deserve to feel safe in their home.

As the owner, Isaac Hager is responsible for making sure that this building is secure for tenants. That’s why tenants are demanding that Isaac Hager (1) replace the broken door with a new door that is secure; and (2) install a security camera and a functional intercom system.

The petition is here: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/550/162/756/?cid=headerClick

BEFORE IT’S GONE // TAKE IT BACK: Documenting Brooklyn – Fighting Gentrification (B4G) is the  Brooklyn-wide anti-gentrification campaign of Equality for Flatbush www.equalityforflatbush.org   #Beforeitsgone #TakeitBack #BrookylnisNotforSale #501LeffertsAve #IsaacHager #CornellRealty

VIDEO of Isaac Pollack disrupting the 8/8/17 meeting of The 332 Rutland Road Tenant Association

Equality for Flatbush calls for the ARREST of Racist Slumlord Isaac Pollack for Tenant Harassment
#ArrestIsaacPollack  #NoEvictionZone  #MYNYCLANDLORD  #TenantsFightBack #BLACKLIVESMATTER

THE BROOKLYN ANTI-GENTRIFICATION NETWORK

The Brooklyn  Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN) is a people of color-led, mass-based coalition of tenants, homeowners, block associations, anti-police brutality groups, legal and grassroots organizations working together to end the rampant gentrification and displacement of low to middle income residents of Brooklyn, New York. BAN was initiated by Equality for Flatbush in 2015.  To Get Involved Join The Brooklyn Anti-gentrification Network – BAN Community List

The Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN) in solidarity with our member organization Mi Casa No Es Su Casa opposes the current plan to rezone the neighborhood of Bushwick as endorsed by Brooklyn Community Board 4 with Council Members Antonio Reynoso and Rafael Espinal. We know all too well that the process of rezoning, the change of land use initiated under the guise of community preservation and additional affordable housing, far too often becomes a hostage situation where communities bargain for crumbs with the city or risk getting nothing. The general public should understand  that rezoning is an opportunity for real estate interests to raise real estate prices and their subsequent abilities to make profits under our feet, and that no level of additional services or amenities that our neighborhoods already deserve should be used to justify this fact.

When Mayor De Blasio was first elected mayor in 2013, his answer to the city’s housing crisis was a plan that called for the construction and preservation of 200,000 affordable units across the city. The majority of this goal would be through saving units from falling out of the state’s rent stabilization program but 80,000 of that number would be newly built in fifteen communities chosen to be rezoned for increased density to accommodate that new construction. In addition, the city passed a new housing policy, known as Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, to encourage more affordable units across the city, but only mandatory after a neighborhood is rezoned. This policy was the supposed solution to counteract the a wave of market rate development coming not only to the targeted communities of the rezonings but citywide.

But what happens when affordable housing isn’t affordable enough for the community already there? During the Bloomberg administration, dozens of neighborhoods were rezoned in ways that changed the rental landscape of the city, often subsidized by programs such as the 421a tax abatement and with very few demands of developers for affordable housing and no protections for current tenants. One of the worst examples was the Williamsburg and Greenpoint waterfront rezoning, where in exchange for an upzoning that would allow 20 and 30 story towers, promises were made but not kept and new developments have led to the displacement of tens of thousands of former rent stabilized tenants and small businesses within the rezoned and adjacent areas.

Fast forward a dozen years and the failures of that process have shown up on the steps of Bushwick, which has seen some of the highest rent increases over the past 10 years and has been found to be the neighborhood most likely to have housing code violations in the city. In 2014, Brooklyn Community Board 4 with Council Members Antonio Reynoso and Rafael Espinal created a process they have called the “Bushwick Community Plan”, which now consists of a Steering Committee for mostly staff of nonprofits that stand to potentially gain through improved relationships with council members based on their support of the process and may have disproportionate power over which parts of the community are represented in these conversations and which are not. Truly, the Bushwick Community Plan has been anything but community focused, as was best exemplified by Brooklyn Department of City Planning director Winston Von Engel when he said at a February community meeting about the plan that “our intention is to preserve the character and the buildings, not the people in them.”

We as the residents of this city must recognize this Freudian slip for the truth it holds of this process. The goal of the dozens of small meetings behind closed doors has never been to address the needs of Bushwick residents for better enforcement of tenant law against landlords, seek to use land available for the creation of affordable housing or for additional municipal services – school seats, public transportation, garbage removal, etc – that many local residents have advocated for in good faith. What has actually happened is an illusion of democracy that is being calibrated to both meet the mayor’s intended quota for the neighborhood and minimize potential community backlash. The Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network demands no more rezonings as a tool to allow record real-estate profits in the name of community preservation and for the Bushwick Plan Steering Committee to end this process before irreparable harm is done to the neighborhood.

For more info contact : 646-820-6039| info@BANgentrification.org

UPCOMING BAN EVENTS

The next Brooklyn Anti-gentrification Network meeting is on 7/8 at 7p at the 2nd floor of the NYC Solidarity Center located at 147 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011 (elevator accessible)Join us to engage in the latest campaigns to stop gentrification in Brooklyn and city-wide! Dinner will be provided. All are welcome.

Please RSVP & Invite your networks: https://www.facebook.com/events/912970329048200/ You can also donate to our gofundme if you want to show your support! https://www.gofundme.com/help-ban-fight-gentrification-in-bk-in-2019

If you are a NYC resident who wants to be connected to city-wide anti-gentrification movement — Please join The Brooklyn Anti-gentrification Network – BAN Community List :the-brooklyn-anti-gentrification-community-organizing-list@googlegroups.com

Contact :  info@bangentrification.org or call/text (646) 820 -6039

For details on the next planning meeting : https://bangentrification.org/events/

REAL ESTATE WATCH

Real Estate Watch (REW) works to hold predatory landlords and developers accountable by providing empirical information and tools to empower Brooklyn residents and small businesses. Real Estate Watch (REW) is the investigative research project of Equality for Flatbush.

Current Real Estate Watch Campaigns:

  • Real Estate Watch releases Fact Sheet on a predatory developer, Rafael (Rafi) Manor
Since 2017, Equality for Flatbush has been fighting with several Black homeowners who have sustained thousands of dollars of damages because of predatory developers who “house flip”. These predatory develops purchase property next to a long-time Black homeowner, damage the homeowner’s property which leads to lengthy and costly court battles. Several homeowners have reported that they believe the developer had purposely damaged their property in order to get them to sell their homes. Real Estate Watch, Equality for Flatbush’s investigative research team, has released a fact sheet on Rafael Manor who has been identified as one of these predatory developers. Enjoy.
Real Estate Watch (REW) works to hold predatory landlords and developers accountable by providing empirical information and tools to empower Brooklyn residents and small businesses. Real Estate Watch (REW) is the investigative research project of Equality for Flatbush
2273 Church Avenue POB #260123 Brooklyn, NY 11226 B4G@equalityforflatbush.org or (646)820-6039
  • Real Estate Watch releases Fact Sheet on predatory lender, Selene Finance

Selene Finance has been identified to us by homeowners in our community as a key target due to their predatory practices. Real Estate Watch, Equality for Flatbush’s investigative research team, has released a fact sheet to document the key players profiting off Selene Fianance and their fraudulent practices.

COALITION WITH MOVEMENT TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE (MTOPP)

We are in coalition with Movement To Protect the People (MTOPP)  and other groups against the Up-zoning of Empire Blvd

http://www.mtopp.org/

NEW FLATBUSH RESIDENT COMMUNITY ORGANIZING PROJECT

The intent of this initiative is to bring new residents together, building by building, block by block, in solidarity against the skyrocketing rents and property grabs by developers that is transforming our neighborhoods.

Contact us for information on how to get involved.

GET HELP

If you are a Brooklyn resident who is experiencing tenant or police harassment/repression please contact us immediately:
In English: (646)820-6039
En Español: (513) 445-8532
En Kréyol: (707) 200-3692

2273 Church Avenue

POB# 260123

Brooklyn, NY 11226

 

flatbushequality@gmail.com

Copyright © 2016-2017 Equality for Flatbush. All Rights Reserved.