December 15, 2021
From Liberation News

On Dec. 11, organizers from the Crown Heights Tenants Union, Flatbush Tenants Association, Housing Justice for All, Brooklyn Eviction Defense and the Party for Socialism and Liberation rallied in front of lower Manhattan’s Housing Court at 111 Centre St. to demand an end to winter evictions and an extension of the pandemic eviction moratorium, which is set to expire on Jan. 15. 

Another key demand of the action is the passage of a “Good Cause” Housing Bill that would allow tenants to renew leases to prevent eviction by court order. Such a bill would also limit rent increases to no more than 3% of the current rent, which would allow tenants the right to legally contest exorbitant rent increases that cause displacement and have contributed to the gentrification of dozens of New York City communities.

The action was dedicated to Ms. Joy Noel, a movement elder who died homeless at age 85 after her landlord evicted her and rented her apartment to someone else while she was on vacation. She is not the only one to die as a result of eviction. Every year hundreds of homeless people die of exposure and hypothermia during the winter season. Ending winter evictions and providing housing to homeless people is the only way to prevent these deaths from continuing.

The coalition marched to the state assembly office to pressure local politicians to act, and to Trinity Church, a large land developer in the city. Marchers chanted “Housing is a human right,” “End evictions now,” and other pro tenant slogans. Trinity Church Clergy were encouraged to sign a letter condemning winter evictions and calling for an end to such an inhumane practice, as the church professes itself to be a “moral authority” in lower Manhattan, 

Liberation photo: Vincent Tsai.