Tenants Protest Evictions in “Three-Quarter Houses”

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Tanya Kessler, an attorney with MFY Legal Services, Inc., speaks in front of 42-44 Christopher Ave.  Tenants protested their evictions from their building - a "three-quarter house".

Tanya Kessler, an attorney with MFY Legal Services, Inc., speaks in front of 42-44 Christopher Ave. Tenants protested their evictions from their building - a "three-quarter house".

By Léa Khayata

Tenants of 42-44 Christopher Ave in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and supporters demonstrated in front of their building – a “three-quarter house” – a transitional home to help past drug and alcohol addicts reintegrate society by providing them a roof and counseling – to protest their eviction and harassment. The street resonated with their chants: “No justice, No peace.”

Three-quarter houses are proliferating in Brownsville, but also in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick and East New York. Tanya Kessler, an attorney with MFY Legal Services, Inc., which represents poor New Yorkers, estimates that there are around 5,000 people currently living in illegal boarding houses throughout the city.

The landlord, Yuri Baumblit, has already evicted the majority of the residents and is now putting pressure on the ten remaining tenants. Baumblit posted an announcement asking them to leave by Dec. 15. But those practices are illegal, according to Kessler.

House managers often resort to calling the police for evicting tenants, even though by law only a judge can issue an eviction.

“It doesn’t change much to know that we have rights,” said Angel Hernandez, a resident at the three-quarter house. “They just take our stuff and throw us out, even if it is 20 degrees outside.”

“These houses are masquerading as supportive housing programs but provide no service at all,” said Kessler. “The operators rake in thousands of dollars in city-financed rent payments a month while creating a revolving door of homelessness. It’s another example of the city’s failure to develop affordable housing for homeless people.”

A class action lawsuit was filed earlier this week against three companies that rent housing units known as “three-quarter houses”. Baumblit is named in the lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that those companies engaged in widespread deceptive practices, pressured tenants into signing away their rights, violating the rent stabilization code laws, and unlawfully evicting tenants onto the street when they stopped paying their rent.

Brooklyn Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order to suspend the evictions.

“We hope this action will spur changes for other three-quarter houses in Brooklyn,” said Kessler.

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7 Responses to “Tenants Protest Evictions in “Three-Quarter Houses””

  1. gustavo
    April 8, 2011 at 12:06 PM #

    This isnt the only illegal practice that three quarter houses are no to do they also collect money lets say 30.00 to 50.00 dollars a month that usually goes in the landlord or house mananagers pocket now when you sign a rental agreement with H.R.A. they only will pay 215.00 dollars a month, iy you happen to be on S.S.I. 405.00 is the rent agrrement. Theres a three quarter house at 830 Herkimer Brooklyn New York 11233 and we are paying 40.00 dollars a month out of pocket and this is illegal if we dont pay we will be kicked out, and the living conditions are as this a living room is an eight man room,a four man room has no windows,a six man room,and another four man
    18 men share 1 bathroom, theres an bedbug infestation the people who do repairs are not licensed an the exterminator isnt licensed either, Many clients go to sleep with clothes on so the dont get bit by bedbugs.

  2. help us
    June 10, 2011 at 10:10 PM #

    tanya needs to stop she is getting people thrown in the street already 90 + people have been put out because of her dumb ass.
    hey tanya r u going to house all this people. can i stay wit u???

  3. Richie
    September 25, 2012 at 2:06 PM #

    September 25, 2012

    I’d like to point out that I was evicted because I had an arguement with one of the House managers because he wouldn’t let me in the room that I rent from them on 690 new Lots Aveneue, because i was an hour and 28 minutes late due to train delays, etc. It was the first time that I was ever late so I see no reason to reject me from sleeping on a bed that I pay for every week. I’ve called the cops and I was still unable to bet in. I’m going to pursue this to the full extent of the law. There is a lot more defense that i have against them that i will discuss to the proper legal athorties.

  4. Maychic Secret Laws Of Success Center
    December 28, 2012 at 5:23 PM #

    We support actions against illegal evictions of residents of three quarter houses because many of them were placed there by the Department Of Homeless Services, (DHS) of City of New York and they also pay their rents from the benefits they get from SSI, SSD and welfare, and so should be treated with respect just like regular tenants. If the owners of these houses have any issues, they should take it to the City who placed these low income residents there.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Lawsuit Against NYC 3/4 Housing « Elizabeth Lombino - December 30, 2010

    […] Services, has filed a class action lawsuit against several three-quarter housing providers. At a recent rally against a provider trying to illegally evict his tenants, Ms. Kessler said “[t]hese houses are […]

  2. Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against “Three-Quarter Houses” « Rich Lombino - December 30, 2010

    […] Services, has filed a class action lawsuit against several three-quarter housing providers. At a recent rally against a provider trying to illegally evict his tenants, Ms. Kessler said “[t]hese houses are […]

  3. Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against “Three-Quarter Houses” « Social Change Apps - December 30, 2010

    […] Services, has filed a class action lawsuit against several three-quarter housing providers. At a recent rally against a provider trying to illegally evict his tenants, Ms. Kessler said “[t]hese houses are […]

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