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Thursday, December 21, 2017
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11:30am [11:45am] Calls For Dignified Living Conditions and Expansion of Tenants’ Rights
Description:
Southview Towers Tenant Union Calls For Dignified Living Conditions and Expansion of Tenants’ Rights December 21, 2017 Rochester, NY - Members of the Southview Towers Tenant Union, the Rochester City-Wide Tenant Union, and supporters will hold a press conference and rally at11:45 am on Thursday December 21, 2017 in front of Southview Towers at 500 South Avenue, Rochester, NY. The Unions are calling on the owner, Landsmans Development Corporation, to provide habitable living conditions and on Governor Cuomo to expand basic tenant rights to all Upstate New York, including Rochester. Currently, Rochester (unlike New York City and Buffalo) does not have Housing Court where tenants can take landlords to court enforce basic standards of habitability. Residents Calling for Essential Services Residents are calling for essential services such as heat and locks on their doors. Many residents have been living without real heat in their apartments for years and have been forced to heat their rooms with ovens and space heaters creating dangerous living conditions. Many of the apartments have been infested with vermin as the owners, Landsman Development Corporation, continue to run down the building. Further, instead of expanding to 24 hour security as requested, Landsman has vowed to cut back on security to a building of 193 units. Tenants Calling for Expansion of Tenants’ Rights In order correct and prevent the horrible living conditions in Rochester tenants are calling on Governor Cuomo to expand Tenants’ Rights across the state as part of the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance. In addition to calling for Good Cause eviction protections, and Rent Control throughout New York, tenants’ are calling for the implementation of Housing Court in cities like Rochester so tenants can take their landlords to court and enforce basic standards of habitability. Tenants are calling on Governor Cuomo to lead to fight in Albany to expand tenant protections including Housing Court to Rochester. Landsman Rebuffs Tenants’ Call for Improvements, City Fails to Send Inspectors On October 24, 2017 the tenants sent Landsman Development Corporation a Demand Letter with a list of badly needed improvements to the building. In response, Landsman acknowledged that the tenants were living in horrible conditions but rebuffed the demands. Their earliest plan for improvements is May 2018. Landsman claims they don’t have the money to keep up the building begging the question if they should be in the housing business if they can’t fulfill their sole purpose as a housing company and can’t meet New York State housing standards. Residents Calling for Transparent Finances, First Option to Purchase Still, many tenants believe that Landsman does have sufficient money as it takes in an estimated $1.5 million a year in rents, receives public funding, and only pays $2,057 in property taxes according to the City of Rochester. In order to resolve their dispute on how the building funds are being spent the tenants’ asked for Landsman to open their books to the tenants, but the they have so far refused. Further, tenants’ have requested a first option to purchase to the building if it goes up for sale as many tenants’ are worried they the owner is running down the building because they are preparing to sell it. Landsman has refused that first option as well. For Information Contact Kawanais Smith 585 685 4356 Elizabeth McGriff 585 625 7617

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