Someone call Spike Lee, gentrification in Brooklyn has just hit a new low. A new federal lawsuit claims that the landlords of three major residential buildings on Brooklyn Avenue and Hawthorne Street in East Flatbush, are deliberetly mistreating black tenants with the hopes of driving them out and bringing in residents of a lighter variety.
Yeshaya Wasserman and Yitzchok Rambod who bought the complex in 2009, have allegedly been involved in such underhanded practices as: ignoring requests for repairs, raising rents of black tenants higher than their white counterparts, and failing to cash rent checks so as to proceed with bogus evictions. White tenants, however, are offered renovated apartments, lower rent increases when their leases are up, and timely maintenance.
Tenants claim that since 2009, Wasserman and Rambod have successfully emptied at least 20 rent stabilized apartments and in turn rented them to mostly white tenants at three times the previous rent price. According to tenants, since 2009 only one black tenant has been allowed to move in and he was subsequently evicted for refusing to pay an illegal $300 rent increase.