The owners of the rent-stabilized apartment building at 596 East 22nd St put in new boilers, fixed windows and floors, and added a new roof, and now they’ve applied to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal to raise tenants’ rents to pay for those repairs.
“We’re a low income family. We can’t afford it,” 17-year building resident Loraine Dellamore told the Daily News. She noted that her one bedroom is currently $791, and that she’d have to pay an extra $240 per month if the owner is allowed to make the increase.
The tenant association, which is a member of the Flatbush Tenant Coalition, is fighting the proposed rent increase. The Coalition tells us that the landlord had neglected the building for over a decade, and that they fought with him in housing court for three years, got HPD involved with the building, did protests in front of his house, and had Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs and Councilmember Mathieu Eugene press him to do repairs. The tenant association and the Coalition eventually prevailed and the repairs were done, but now the tenants are facing these permanent rent increases.
The Coalition is working with the tenant association to have the owner’s application denied. They are also working to have the rent laws changed so tenants don’t have to pay for their landlord’s neglect.
Photo of 596 E 22nd St via Google Maps.