Sewage in the basement, rats, mice, chipping lead paint, mold, and inadequate heat are the major complaints of the tenants of 341 East 19th St, who will be protesting landlord Isaac Schwartz outside of the entrance to the gated Seagate community, where he lives, Sunday, March 25 at 11:30am. The tenants are frustrated about these conditions, which they say have not been addressed by the landlord. They’ll be joined by the Flatbush Tenant Coalition, a group of tenant associations that fights to build tenant power in Flatbush and surrounding communities.
“We can’t afford to live in a gated community, but we deserve to live in a safe environment,” Denton Sterling, president of the Tenant Association said in a statement.
The ceiling leak pictured above is in the kitchen of one apartment, where the tenant says stains have been repeatedly plastered and painted over by the landlord, which of course doesn’t address the leak. Additionally, the walls in this apartment tested positive for lead, and there is an infant in the household. The tenant in this apartment is now suing the landlord in housing court for repairs. Together with South Brooklyn Legal Services, the Flatbush Tenant Coalition secured a pro-bono, private lawyer for him.
As for the protest, the tenants are demanding repairs of these dangerous conditions; a qualified, full-time super in the building; heat and hot water; building-wide eradication of rodents and insects; certified workers to do needed electrical and plumbing work; and reinstallation of the handicap access ramp that was reportedly removed by the landlord years ago despite the presence of tenants with disabilities.