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We are the 99 percent

Occupy Sunset Park: Rally for Rent Strikers on Thursday

Posted 8 years ago on July 4, 2012, 3:15 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Banner draped over building
¨These three buildings are in danger of fire. We could die!¨

Tenants Call a Rent Strike and Rally Demanding Immediate Emergency Repairs

When: 12 Noon, July 5th
Where: 553, 545, and 557 46th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, Brooklyn NY
Facebook Event

Fifty one families in three buildings on 46th street are organizing a rent strike and have called a rally to press for immediate emergency repairs, to be held at 12 noon on July 5th at 553, 545 and 557 46th Street. “We just want to live like human beings,” said Sara Lopez, a tenant leader.

Residents welcome solidarity and support from the community, including Occupy Sunset Park, because despite numerous documented housing violations such as fire hazard wiring, garbage, and vermin, and numerous complaints to City agencies and politicians, there has been no action yet to remedy the hazardous conditions. “Do we have to wait until there's a tragedy before we'll see action?” Sara Lopez said.

Lopez, who has lived in her building for 40 years, explained the landlord was always negligent, but conditions in the buildings have gotten worse now that the three properties are in foreclosure. Recently the buildings underwent a 12 hour blackout during which super Israel Espinosa refused to respond to tenant requests for help. Lopez stated that this winter there was heat and hot water for only three days.

The tenants have taken many steps to confront their slumlord, Horacio Petito of Peto Management, but the situation is being handled slowly through the courts. They say they can’t wait months for something to change. They need something to happen now since they fear a fire or medical emergency. The affected residents include a pregnant woman with two children, some disabled tenants, and people with chronic conditions who suffer without electricity. The tenants have compiled a petition for repairs with almost 75 names on it.

Residents have documented violations (everything from unsafe electrical wiring, frequent blackouts, a broken boiler, lead paint, mold, cockroaches,rats, and bed bugs).They have filed complaints at the 311 hotline; appealed to State Assembly member Felix Ortiz, and City Council Member Sara Gonzalez; filed a request for emergency repairs with the City's Department of Housing Development and Preservation (HPD);reached out to and received assistance from community based organizations (5th Ave Committee and Neighbors Helping Neighbors); called the 72nd Precinct and the Fire Department. Nevertheless, there has been no action yet taken to remedy the situation.

Signs in window of the buildings reading Stop The Tenant Harassment and Dont Pay The Rent in English and Spanish



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[-] 1 points by RichZubaty (37) from Wailuku, HI 8 years ago

How Occupy Wall Street went wrong: In Spain the activists raised $15,000 for court costs, and pro bono lawyers sued the former IMF chief, who ran the largest Spanish Bank, for fraud. Occupy Wall Street took half a million dollars and did what? Got sidetracked into stop and frisk laws and foreclosures in Brooklyn. Stupid stupid stupid. They need to take whatever money they have left and launch the criminal lawsuits against Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein that Obama and Eric Holder refuse to launch. Sue the bastards now! Criminal fraud charges now! When we let the government prosecutors handle this they plea bargain away the criminal charges and accept some trifling fine. No more fines. We want criminal prosecutions.

[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 8 years ago

Let the Righties have Holder, then let's bring in Nader, and watch the Righties run like the dirty cockroaches they are!!!

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

Solidarity. I'll be there!

[-] 0 points by BrienRice (0) 8 years ago

Make suer to bank the rent pending conclusion.

[-] 0 points by legalassistant (164) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Hope they are putting their monthly rent in an escrow account.



[-] -1 points by sufinaga (513) 8 years ago

i see the predatory crucifixion merchant money sharks are still among us with their BS GOSPEL SCAM. we do not need to be saved. we are the way the truth and the life. we must protect our children's minds from the EVIL INTENT of their human sacrifice horror story BOLLOCKS RELIGION.

[-] -1 points by Fez (20) 8 years ago

If tenants are unhappy with the housing a landlord provides, shouldn't they, you know.... leave and go live somewhere else?

[-] 1 points by RoadsidePicnic (5) 8 years ago

Tenants have a variety of rights and legal recourse. This is like suggesting that African-Americans can choose to sit in the back of the bus.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

Americans fight back.! We don't run away like you would I guess. You gotta grow a pair and get the criminals (landlord) arrested. Justice. Not retreat!

[-] -1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 8 years ago

Perhaps the tenants could band together and buy the forclosed buildings when they come up for auction. That way the tenants would own the buildings and could make sure they are kept up.

[-] -2 points by Growup6 (-125) 8 years ago

Markets clear. Slums are simply the housing market bringing housing down to the point where it meets and clears with demand. Of course, we don't like it; it offends our sensibilities.

But it's to be expected. When you wheel in large numbers of people without skills and education, you overwhelm the unskilled labor market and pummel what were already low wages. The result? A bunch of people with trouble buying the housing that we want them to have. Slums emerge as markets clear.

But then we pretend that it's a surprise. It's a willful ignorance where we feign surprise. We blame the landlords or demand more enforcement but the problem remains that a slum clears the market.

The solution? End mass immigration of poor unskilled people and watch the problem naturally just go away. Markets clear and they'll start clearing at nicer levels of housing. Or we can do more of the same, complain, protest, feign shock, and get no where.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

These people are hard working Americans! Furthermore they are highly skilled! Does that fit your theory? And are you saying that these people deserve the rats and lack of heat?

You don't sound like you know what your talkin about.

[-] -3 points by Growup6 (-125) 8 years ago

Hard working? Not the point. Hard working at what and generating what income, and what sort of housing does that buy? That's the point. Americans? Some, but many, of course, are not.

Highly skilled? Only if they're also stupid Otherwise, highly skilled means a capacity for generating income that would have them MOVE. Why protest? If you don't like the product, stop buying the product. It's the landlord's problem to attract tenants. Are there other products or services you don't like, but for some reason just keeping buying and complaining about?

It isn't a point about what people "deserve". It's simply that if you're going to have a bunch of unskilled people, and feed it with immigration, you're going to have slummy housing because that's where the market clears.

Crummy housing isn't assigned randomly. Ever notice that? Ever notice a pattern? LOL. Of course not.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

Why would they move and run away? Why wouldn't they stay and fight? Just because you don't have the courage to fight for what you have doesn't they are cowards. And they ARE Americans, and highly skilled. So again I ask WTF are you talkin about.?

[-] -1 points by Growup6 (-125) 8 years ago

Fight what? They would move because they have a brain and the skills needed to generate the income to buy something better. Slums are what they are not because of something to fight over, but because that's the product at that price.

You get what you pay for. The people in crummy apartments are there because that's what they can afford. They can afford so little because they lack skills and we've added a swarm of similarly unskilled people to the workforce mainly via immigration. That oversupply further pressures already low wages. Slums should surprise no one.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

Maybe you can accept substandard housing for some people. I will not. they will not. You don't know how much money they make, you don't know what skills they have, You don't know their immigration status.

You have made many assumptions in order to use these good hard working Americans plight part of your theory. You don't seem to be interested in facts, and you assume an immigration issue because they are spanish brown skinned people. Seems to be race based logic.

[-] 1 points by Growup6 (-125) 8 years ago

But you do and they do. They either make very little, have very little or they're retarded and can't figure out to move.

True, I don't know their immigration status. But what I pointed out was true. Low income people end up in low-end housing and we've sourced a shit load of low income people via immigration.

Brown and Spanish is a good proxy for poor immigrants. Pulled in "F" in statistics, did you? Please, stay out of Vegas for your own good. Concepts of likelihood seem to escape you.

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

I just avoid judgement based on race. Thats not statistics thats humanities.

[-] 1 points by Growup6 (-125) 8 years ago

Ha ha. Yeah, I knew I overshot with the "statistics" thing. Everyone knows that's not part of the GED curriculum. It sailed right over your head.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

Now your insulting me with disparaging remarks about my education. I guess no one is as good as you. huh? You are a real American and the rest of us don't measure up.

Why do you think your stat comment sailed over my head.?

[-] 0 points by kelliosie (-2) 8 years ago

What's your take for hawking for Obama, mate? http://pastebin.com/9bLFYdFZ

[-] 0 points by kelliosie (-2) 8 years ago

What's your take for hawking for Obama, mate? http://pastebin.com/9bLFYdFZ

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 8 years ago

If the property is in foreclosure, they are not obligated to pay any rent under law.

[-] 3 points by RoadsidePicnic (5) 8 years ago

This depends on the situation and it is important to be very careful, because it is easy to have an eviction upheld in court due to a poorly-carried out rent strike.

[-] -1 points by sufinaga (513) 8 years ago

this is the evil basis of this tyranny that land and decent housing are ALWAYS UNAFFORDABLE for the poor! who prices the market just out of the reach of those in need? who are these AOs living off the backs of the poor? the 1% that's who!

[-] -1 points by Growup6 (-125) 8 years ago

That's funny. See housing costs money. Honest, is doesn't just pop out of the air. Who are these assholes that can't even manage to put a roof over their own heads? Funny too how you talk about someone living off of the backs of someone else when it's YOU that's talking about adding to housing entitlement programs. It's YOU that's advocating more people climbing into the cart to be pulled by someone else.

[-] 0 points by sufinaga (513) 8 years ago

that is the PSYCHOPATHIC THINKING. you have no concern for others. you decide who shall live in a decent home and who shall eat. when there is FOOD AND LAND FOR ALL. you are a fascist stooge of this tyranny and an enemy of our community. you should have us all or you should have us fall!

[-] 1 points by Growup6 (-125) 8 years ago

I'm not deciding it, they are. Shocking thought, isn't it?

We can't all ride in the cart. Someone has to pull it. Another thought that might not have occurred to you.

[-] 0 points by sufinaga (513) 8 years ago

some are in the cart, others fall off! you have fallen out of the cart, out of love! sad! our love is a lifeboat. life is lived by changing places!

[-] 0 points by Growup6 (-125) 8 years ago

That's hilarious. Changing places, huh? That'd be great, but many in the cart are there permanently as are their kids and their grandkids. We've built a shameful system of dependency and cart-riding. Yet, of course, to leftists, the jerks remain the ones pulling it.

[-] 1 points by sufinaga (513) 8 years ago

and many of those dependents are in your family and in your town and in our community. so you would abandon them to ill health, homelessness, slave camps. you think the police are doing the right thing. that killing for peace is sane! that the prohibition of marijuana is justifiable. this movement will abandon you and all your klan!

[-] 0 points by Growup6 (-125) 8 years ago

No, I'd just ask that things like shame and responsibility taking be restored and that less judgement-free endless handouts were available. Multi-generational fuck ups litter our welfare rolls and that should end.

Chicago has a major gang violence problem. After a particularly egregious killing within the last two weeks, Rahm Emanual went on TV and asked of the killers "Who raised you?". Coming from a liberal that was hilarious. It was his baby mama and gubbermint who raised him, that's who. Judgement-free, who's-to-say-what's-right-and-wrong, open-ended multi-generational welfare raised the killer. That and his mama. Rahm feigns shock that the system liberals have built raised a killer, but of course it's only too obvious that a killer is the outcome.

[-] 0 points by RoadsidePicnic (5) 8 years ago

Sunset Park is not a slum. It is simply a majority-immigrant neighborhood. Do you even understand the difference?

[-] -2 points by Growup6 (-125) 8 years ago

The point of the article is what a shit bag place it is to live. You're a little trigger happy on the racist smear, but that's typical of leftists.

[-] 0 points by RoadsidePicnic (5) 8 years ago

Er, to be precise, I wasn't accusing you of being a racist: I was accusing you of insulting the neighborhood where this took place, which I happen to live in. A slum is a neighborhood in which there is widespread crime, lots of vacant buildings, street-level drug dealing, and so on and so on. This is about one bad landlord. You're the one who needs to learn the difference between politics and personal attacks, 'grow-up.' (by which, I don't mean to imply, by the way, that neighborhoods that do have these problems are 'terrible places'--I just mean that they have terrible problems. )

[-] 0 points by Growup6 (-125) 8 years ago

At least this time you didn't mention immigrants. That's progress.

Sure, there's no such thing as a "terrible place", only terrible problems. How politically correct of you. There's no such thing as janitors either, only sanitation engineers. Terrible problems focused on a place what makes for a terrible place. LOL.

Very low quality housing is the product of simply the housing market coming down to meet a market for poor people. So, what we do to stoke the numbers of poor people, stokes the slums and housing conditions liberals wring their hands about. The engines of poverty we have right now are illegitimacy and dad-free zones, drop-ous, and immigration. As long as these things run wild, the problem won't go away.

[-] 0 points by RoadsidePicnic (5) 8 years ago

Do you abuse people like this to their faces, or just on the internet where you're anonymous and it's safe?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

growup6 is a nasty schoolyard bully. He insults anyone who disagrees with him and appears to exhibit racist hatred.

He is at the very least a partisan republican, and does not support the 99% or OWS.

Good luck getting though to him but don't hold your breath.

[-] -1 points by Growup6 (-125) 8 years ago

People in my daily life have better reasoning skills than found among occutards and wouldn't deserve it.

But thanks for the laugh about there being no such thing as terrible places.

[-] 0 points by sufinaga (513) 8 years ago

growup6 is a PSYCHOPATHIC BULLY and an enemy of humanity and our movement!

[-] -3 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 8 years ago

If you're not satisfied with how your landlord maintains your rental, then you have two options:

1) Demand improvements, or

2) Move somewhere else.

There is no third option, to stay in the property for free without paying rent, on the grounds that you're not satisfied with the upkeep. That's the kind of idea that could only have come from Occupy.

[-] 2 points by jimbobz22 (3) 8 years ago


You are 100% incorrect. In essentially every state in the Union, and certainly in New York, there's something called an implied warranty of habitability for rental housing. This means that when a landlord rents a property, he must, by law, warrant that it is habitable. Habitability is defined largely in reference to the local housing code, which this slumlord may in fact be violating. If a tenant's rental housing is not habitable, then regardless of the rent the landlord is charging, the tenant has the right to 1) remain in the home, 2) withhold rent, and 3) sue for damages. If the conditions of all of the units in this building are inhabitable, they should all be able to simply refuse to pay rent.

The concept of implied warranty of habitability is not an invention of Occupy Wall Street, but has in fact been around since the 1960s: http://public.findlaw.com/abaflg/flg-6-2-4.html.

I wonder if your comment is serious or if you're simply a troll trying to spread misinformation, as alleged, quite reasonably, by RoadsidePicnic. If you are in fact serious, then your comment is a sad reflection on the (lack of) awareness people have of their rights in this country.

[-] 1 points by jimbobz22 (3) 8 years ago

...but, anyone thinking about withholding rent should probably consult a lawyer first, unless you're willing to take some risks, as the rent strikers clearly are

[-] 1 points by RoadsidePicnic (5) 8 years ago

Tech Junkie, please do not publicly spread misinformation about housing laws in the middle of a housing crisis. It is possible in many states to stage a rent strike, though this should always be done in consultation with a lawyer or someone similarly experienced.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

Withholding rent is an old tried and tested tactic that predates Occupy. Certainly, the escrow acct listed above is appropriate, but the tenants are within their rights to withhold rent and probably entitled to a rebate/discount for the months that the apartment was not entirely livable.