On Sept 17 2022, the 219 13th St Tenant Association(@219tenantsbk), with full support of our community, announced that our much overdue RENT STRIKE will begin October 1st if the underlying issues in the building are not fixed and the gas not turned back on!
Tenants from the building spoke about their on-going struggle to transform their conditions by organizing with their immediate neighbors in the building and also the fellow tenants in the community at large. The need to build power and forge principled connections as broadly as possible was a thematic through-line at today’s rally and banner drop. We are up against a huge property holder who can’t be bother by our individual pleas for remediation — so we have banded together to demand our rights be enforced!
The landlord of this building’s name is Michael Shah, whose conglomeration of property holdings is valued at over 1 billion dollars. His notorious negligence has landed him on front page stories for: poisoning tenants with lead, allowing buildings to fall into disrepair, and generally being a (typical) greedy landlord.
The tenants gas has not been fixed but early this year electric stoves were installed in every unit allowing them to cook. The heat during these winter months has been spotty and the boiler has been switched to heating oil instead of has — the gas problem seems to be an underlying issue and still needs to be resolved. Tenants are still on rent strike and are on the offensive: they have filled a joint lawsuit in Supreme Court! The tenant association continues to grow.
On one hand we are demanding the immediate restoration of our building and individual units to clean, safe and dignified housing. On the other hand we are joining and building up a long tradition of working class mass tenant movement to transform a reality dominated by exploitative landlords into a reality where tenants have full control over where and how they live. This reality is free of exploitation, free of negligence, free of unaffordable housing, free of houselessness, free of roaches and rats, free of frigid winters with no heat.