Tenants and community activists joined together in front of 42 and 44 Christopher Avenue in Brownsville, the site of two “three-quarter houses.”
These houses present themselves as transitional program housing for the formerly homeless, recovering addicts and formerly incarcerated people. But, according to a report by the Coalition for the Homeless and the work of the Three Quarter House Project, many of them don’t offer programs at all.
Tanya Kessler is the lawyer for the Three Quarter House Project, and she represents tenants of these houses in court. On Monday, she filed a class action lawsuit against Yury Baumblit, the owner of the company that manages the houses on Christopher Avenue.
Tenants there complain that they are being illegally evicted, and now only five tenants remain in the buildings. Two weeks ago, there were over 30.
Kessler charges that Baumblit, who was indicted in 2009 on unrelated charges of insurance fraud, wants to kick people out to get new tenants in with new security deposits. The community organizer for the project, Raquel Namuche, charges that these landlords are “taking advantage of extremely vulnerable tenants.”
Below, listen to the sounds of the rally and hear the perspectives of both the tenants of the houses on Christopher Avenue and Ms. Kessler.
Tenants gear up for the protest by practicing with Raquel Namuche, the organizer for the Three Quarter House Project, the five-foot 25-year-old whose voice manages to carry even without a bullhorn.
The Rally Practice by nidanajar
Jerome David, one of the most active tenants with the Three-Quarter House Project, has experienced harassment at the hands of management since he moved in to 44 Christopher Avenue nine months ago.
Jerome David Interview by nidanajar
Tanya Kessler is the lawyer for the Three Quarter House Project. She filed a lawsuit Monday on behalf of Jerome David and Barry Winstead against Yury Baumblit and Company in Kings County Supreme Court.
Tanya Kessler by nidanajar