Crown Heights apartment building joins 2 others in rent strike
Tenants from three Crown Heights apartment buildings are now striking against their landlord after they say their calls for repairs have gone unanswered for years.
The tenants say they have had more than enough and have tried everything to get management to make critical repairs.
Two buildings have been on rent strike and now tenants from a third building are joining the fight. Tenants at 1018 and 1074 Eastern Parkway, as well as 1392 Sterling Place say their living conditions have deteriorated in the last several years.
All three buildings were owned by Rubin Dukler until his death in 2021. They are now operated by Iris Management, and tenants say the buildings are falling apart and serious safety concerns are constantly ignored.
"They need to replace the floors. There's a lot of plumbing issues," said Desra Lawrence about the state of her apartment at 1018 Eastern Parkway. But she says the biggest issue is constantly fighting with the owners to get the repairs done.
"Just do the proper repairs because the rent is very high, so at least we could have a place decent to live in," Lawrence said.
"Hopefully they realize that we're not playing," said Michelle Stamp, a tenant at 1392 Sterling Place. "We have a lot -- a lot of repairs between those three buildings and they need to let us get those repairs done."
When repairs are done, they say they are only temporary fixes.
"Just fix the building instead of patching and patching and patching," said Viola Striker, a tenant at 1074 Eastern Parkway.
News 12 found more than 850 violations with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development across all three buildings. These range from missing smoke detectors, repeated mold, peeling lead paint leaks, roach and vermin infestations and broken faucets.
After decades of fighting for basic living standards, they hope that hitting the landlord in the pocketbook will finally bring about some change.
"They're not giving, we're not giving. And until they give, we're not giving. And now that we have 1018 involved in the rent strike, it's more pressure on them," Stamp said.
The tenants hope to eventually be able to buy the buildings and turn them into a co-op.
News 12 reached out to the management company several times on multiple occasions, but it has not responded to any of the requests for comment.