I wanted to let you all know about some unpleasant things that are happening to low-income tenants in , and invite you to join Neighbors Helping Neighbors in protesting the unscrupulous methods used by landlord, Jack Geula, and his attorney, Samuel J. Hagan to displace their tenants. These two are using methods both illegal and immoral to force low-income, mainly immigrant tenants out of their buildings so they can raise the rent. Not only are individuals being mistreated, but the stock of affordable, rent-stabilized housing in is being permanently diminished.
Jack Geula may be familiar to you, since he was mentioned in a press conference about unscrupulous landlords that we sponsored April 27 which was covered in the Daily News and El Diario. Sadly, the problems that we sought to highlight in that press conference have only gotten worse. Mr. Geula, who purchased the nine buildings listed below in the fall of 2006, has enlisted the help of his attorney, Samuel Hagan, to use a variety of measures to intimidate and harass his low-income, Latino tenants with a stated goal of removing them from his building and renting to “white people from ”. Geula and his attorney were recently nearly sanctioned by the court for bringing frivolous no-cause eviction actions against two disabled Section 8 tenants. Geula has refused to sign required paperwork to recertify tenants for Public Assistance. He is refusing to make repairs in the apartments of certain tenants. He has made verbal agreements with tenants, and then reneged on
Despite our best efforts Mr. Geula and Mr. Hagan have removed a third to a half of the tenants of Geula’s nearly 200 rent-stabilized units. The majority of these long-term tenants have been low-income, Latino families. The units they have turned over are permanently lost to affordability.
We are coming together at 1:00 PM on Thursday, November 15th to demand that Geula and Hagan cease and desist in their efforts to drive low-income Latinos out, diminish the affordable housing stock in , and destabilize this diverse, working class, community. We invite you to join us at this event. We will be rallying at 908 4th Avenue (between 33rd and 34th Street ), which is the office of Geula’s attorney, Sam Hagan. You are also welcome to meet at the Neighbors Helping Neighbors office ( 443 39th Street, suite 202 ) at 12:30 PM to pick up a sign, and walk with us to the rally. Please contact Taylor Graham at NHN , ext 19, to let us know if you will be able to attend. Thank you in advance for your support!
Julia Fitzgerald, Executive Director
Neighbors Helping Neighbors