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Help the displaced tenants of 642 E 14th St

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On November 28th, the nearly 30 tenants of 642 E. 14th Street, a 16 unit building, were ordered to vacate their homes by the NYC Dept. of Buildings when excavation work on a 24 story tower next door to their tenant building undermined their foundation, causing structural cracks that made the building unsafe. The tenants were forced out of their homes and into shelters as the holiday season approaches.

Cooper Square Committee, local elected officials and legal service organizations are assisting the tenants in their efforts to find affordable relocation housing as soon as possible, and to get Madison Realty Capital and their landlord Jack Lebewohl to make repairs to their building so that they can return to their apartments at some point in 2024.

Madison Realty Capital has offered up to 10 apartments, all one-bedrooms, and tenants are negotiating the possibility of renting temporary housing for up to 16 months in the apartments they have available. Most will need rental assistance to bridge the gap between their current rent and the rents being offered. Three households need 2 bedroom apartments which MRC doesn't have available in their porfolio. They will likely need rental support to find something they can afford.

With your help, the tenants can access housing they can afford while they temporarily relocate. We estimate it will cost about $65,000 to help the tenants cover the difference in rent at new apartments in NYC, and to cover the cost of food since they can't cook in the shelter, and they have had to buy new clothes since they can't access their apartments. They will need to buy furniture for their relocation apartments as well.

“Despite the fact that I and my fellow tenants had been alerting our landlord, the Dept. of Buildings, and others about cracks that were appearing in our walls and ceilings in July, soon after excavation started, nothing was done to prevent damage to our building. We have little information on what will happen and no solution for affordable long-term housing has been reached yet.” —Michael, Apt. 11

"This last month has been met with the most traumatic uncertainty for my neighbors and I, and while we should be celebrating the holidays or looking forward to the new year, we’re instead couch hopping or living in shelters. We are exhausted and broken and after almost 4 weeks, we’re still left in the dark about what comes next." Lindsey, Apt. 7

“I have four young children who miss their neighborhood, who miss their school, who miss our friends. I wish nobody would go through this, what we experienced in the last couple weeks.” Mohamed, Apt. 13

"We got kicked out from our home in the cold winter. We are homeless and we are in pain. We need justice! Major Eric Adams and fellow New Yorkers, Please, Please stand with us." Lin. Apt. 17

"Please help us- we are homeless, in shelters or staying on friends couches. We have yet to obtain affordable long term housing." Susan, Apt 6

Update on February 9, 2024

With the help of Cooper Square Committee and Councilmember Carlina Rivera, Senator Brian Kavanagh and Assemblyperson Harvey Epstein, 8 of the displaced tenants are in the process of moving into relocation housing owned by Madison Realty Capital (MRC). Most have signed license agreements with MRC and moved in and we hope to have them all moved in by this weekend.

We are thankful that HPD has agreed to provide 5 Section 8 vouchers for tenants who qualify so they can afford the apartments. This Gofundme is intended to help cover various costs the tenants have incurred during 2 months of living in shelters or staying with friends/family, and having to buy new clothes and personal items since they have not been able to access items in their homes. Their landlord, Jack Lebowohl, is providing access next Friday, Feb 16th, so they can retrieve some items.

Thanks to securing Section 8 for some tenants we have reduced the amount we are seeking to raise to assist the tenants. Several tenants will still be paying more than their previous rent during the relocation.

With the help of Mobilization for Justice and Take Root Justice, the tenants filed an HP Action and had their first court appearance today. More details to come. There's still much to do to get the tenant's homes repaired at 642 E. 14th St. so that they can return home. We appreciate your support!


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Donations 

  • Richard Bullitt
    • $25 
    • 2 d
  • David Bumke
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Denise Philley
    • $35 
    • 3 mos
  • Alex Libby
    • $5 
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 3 mos
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Organizer

Steve Herrick
Organizer
New York, NY

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