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Housing

Durham CAN Wins Campaign on Affordable Housing on City Owned Lot in Downtown Durham

Durham CAN leaders demanded and won public agreement from the Durham City Council for the construction of affordable housing at a publicly owned lot located next to the Durham Station Transportation Center. At least 80% of the units built in this lot will be affordable to families at 60% AMI or below.  City Council Moves Forward with Mix-Income Project

Action In Montgomery (AIM) - A Year of Fighting in Northwest Park Results in Victory with Big Housing Improvements

Seeking redress for deplorable conditions in their apartments, tenants of Northwest Park spent the last year organizing to hold Kay Management accountable for reoccurring mold and persistent problems with rodents, bed bugs and cockroaches that have triggered or exacerbated asthma conditions. After the discovery of over 2,000 housing violations, tenants have worked to get a number of improvements, the latest of which was a commitment from Kay Management to replace all of the windows in the complex over the next four years and overhaul their policy for preventing and remediating mold.

Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) members fight to make DC a city that works for ALL its residents

WIN leaders packed local community meetings and a board of zoning hearing to support the construction of 3 “short term housing” facilities (a more dignified term than shelter).  DC with its high cost of living has some of the highest rates of homelessness in the nation especially for families with children.  This brings WIN one step closer to success in a 4-year campaign to close and replace the dilapidated DC General Family Shelter with smaller and safer facilities spread throughout the district.

Listen to the testimony of Mrs. Barnett who lives at DC General shelter with her husband and three young children.

UrbanMatters Completing Final Affordable Housing Units at Eden Place

UrbanMatters, an affordable housing development company co-founded by Washington Interfaith Network (WIN), is in the final stages of completing the last five units for Eden Place Phase I, a 29 unit Nehemiah home community in Washington, DC. Eden Place is comprised of 3 and 4 bedroom townhomes sold at affordable rates to first time home buyers, and is the result of a seven year long fight by WIN to get a blighted and abandoned property revitalized.

WIN Celebrates 39 New Affordable Apartment Homes

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On September 25, Urban Matters/WIN celebrated the grand opening of Eastbrooke, 39 Affordable Apartment Homes in Ward # 7 near Beulah Baptist.

Mr. Ray Nix is doing just a spectacular job developing quality housing and leading Urban Matters, which is now recognized in DC & MD as a top flight development firm.
 
Mayor Bowser and Councilmember Alexander attended the grand opening along with 50+ WIN leaders and Ward # 7 residents.

Orange County Justice United Wins Tenant Rights

Justice United leaders mobilized tenants throughout Orange County to attend three bi-lingual Fair Housing workshops and collaborate on a Bill of Rights with the UNC Legal Assistance Clinic and the County Human Relations Commission.

The resulting “Declaration of Tenants’ Rights and Responsibilities” includes a Resource Guide to help tenants find redress. JU leaders successfully petitioned the Towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill, and the Orange County Board of Commissioners to endorse the Declaration. The Declaration has special importance in Carrboro and Chapel Hill, where a respective 64% and 52% of the total housing units are tenant occupied.

Over 150 low-income tenants were directly affected by this action. Thousands of area tenants now have documentation of their rights and responsibilities, including notation of the state statute that requires landlords to provide safe, habitable housing. Local governments heard from tenants about many of the issues they are facing, as a result, they will now be better able to assist tenants with ongoing issues and concerns.

Read more from Chapel Hill News

Metro IAF NY Wins Federal Judicial Oversight to Ensure Real Cleanup of Mold by NYCHA

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS- DEC 16

The City Housing Authority is about to come under judicial oversight to erase one of its worst plagues — creeping mold in aging apartments, the Daily News has learned. The city signed off on a consent decree Monday that will give a federal judge the ability to ensure the New York City Housing Authority finally eradicates the longstanding and dangerous condition.

The federal court intervention is seen as a game-changer in the battle to reform NYCHA’s inability to tackle an issue that affects hundreds of tenants citywide.The residents have waited in vain, sometimes for years, for NYCHA to answer requests to clean up toxic mold. Often the work was useless, with the agency painting over the mold without fixing the leak that caused it. Now, with the power of a federal court behind them, tenants and their attorneys can for the first time go directly to a judge to impose significant financial penalties on NYCHA if it doesn’t get the job done right.

Over the past year, the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, a civic group, has threatened to file suit charging the city has for years violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by housing hundreds of tenants with asthma in mold-infested units. The Monday settlement will allow a Manhattan federal judge to monitor NYCHA’s promised improvements over the next three years. 

Most important for tenants, the agreement makes mold abatement NYCHA’s top priority, with the agency committing to remedy all mold conditions — including the underlying leaky pipes — within 15 days of receiving a complaint. NYCHA must then follow up within 60 days to make sure the work was done correctly and to ensure mold and moisture “have been eliminated entirely.”

“This agreement is long in coming,” declared tenant Maribel Baez, whose asthma has been aggravated for years by mold in her Marlboro Houses apartment in Brooklyn. “My hope is that (with) Metro IAF, our lawyers and a federal court all keeping NYCHA and the city accountable, conditions for me and my fellow tenants will begin to improve.”

 

Metro IAF NY Wins Federal Judicial Oversight to Ensure Real Cleanup of Mold by NYCHA

The City Housing Authority is about to come under judicial oversight to erase one of its worst plagues — creeping mold in aging apartments, the Daily News has learned.

The city signed off on a consent decree Monday that will give a federal judge the ability to ensure the New York City Housing Authority finally eradicates the longstanding and dangerous condition.

EBC and NYCHA Leaders Take Action

More than 450 NYCHA tenants and leaders gathered at Our Lady of Mercy last night to say, as Nancy Baptiste from St. Paul put it, "Enough!"  The room was electric with anger and energy.   

Father Mason began by putting our fight to clean up NYCHA in the context of a larger 35-year struggle to rebuild our neighborhoods.  We've made great progress but we are not finished yet.  

Leader after leader testified about moldy ceilings, huge leaky holes, giant water bugs, and the damage these cause to their health.  "My apartment is making me sick," said Tawana Myers, who is recovering from two open-heart surgeries.  "Let me breathe.  Get some people to my apartment and my neighbors' apartments and start making the repairs."

Michell Hernandez, a young leader from Mercy, held up her family's nebulizer machine that she, her father and mother must use to breathe at night because the mold is so thick in their apartment.  She implored NYCHA to stop using paint to treat their mold.  "If my apartment were a patient at a hospital run by the New York City Housing Authority, it would be dead. Dead."  Get in there, she added, and find the source of the leak and treat it properly.

Reverend Bachus recalled with anger at witnessing a member of Mt. Ollie have an asthma attack at church.  "You're health should not be determined by the address that you are from.  But it is for many people who live in NYCHA."

You could feel the tension as Carlos Laboy-Diaz approached the microphone. Laboy-Diaz is NYCHA's VP for Operations and supervises the borough directors, including Brooklyn's Philip Calandrillo.  Reverend Brawley and Nyginer Brewer laid it out to Laboy-Diaz clearly:  this is a test and it's pass or fail.  To pass, you've got to commit to make the more than 400 repairs that we have spent weeks documenting and investigating, and too many years living.  

Laboy-Diaz quickly withdrew into NYCHA babble about how much progress they've made over the last year. Reverend Brawley cut him off, "You're not answering our question.  You've failed the first test.  Let's start over."  The back and forth continued for almost 10 minutes until finally Laboy-Diaz begrudgingly agreed to stop the leaks, repairs the walls, paint the living rooms and send the exterminators to almost 150 apartments.  

Laboy-Diaz has made commitments like this before to our allies at South Bronx Churches and then failed to deliver.  It's up to us to make him and Calandrillo follow through.  Next Monday, we'll lead a joint tour of a handful of these apartments so they can see first hand what tenants are living with.

Both teams -- the one up front and the larger one throughout the church -- did an excellent job together.  We had a good mix of new and veteran leaders and churches, and great anger and energy.  Congratulations to everyone who has spent the last 6 months meeting other church and school members; organizing house meetings and listening sessions; and finding scores of talented leaders willing to do the work to continue the rebuilding.

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