Eviction Action Against Brooklyn Tenant Activist Exposes Housing Vulnerability Left Unaddressed by Federal Prosecutors

Friday, May 19, 2017
Louis Flores
Progress Queens

Mr. Ireland, Ms. Stuart's attorney, said he believed, in his experience with housing court, that landlords appeared to target tenant activists for retaliation. "It's common," Mr. Ireland said, adding that, "What is uncommon is tenant organising," raising the spectre that retaliation by a landlord against a key tenant activist could hinder the movement to protect tenants' rights.

When asked if there were a possible action that Federal prosecutors could institute to help prevent violations of Federal fair housing laws allegedly taking place during proceedings before Brooklyn Housing Court, Ms. Stuart said that, "If there was a [representative of the] U.S. Attorney here, maybe that would put fear into landlords," adding that, as it were, alleged landlords' violations of tenant organisers' rights hurt more than just one person, it can undermine efforts by other tenants to be secure in their apartments. "It hurts us, and the landlords are running around, free to do what they want, regardless of the law."

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