Volume 76, Number 45 | April 4 - 10, 2007

Renters’ rock at poetry club

More than 150 people turned out at the Bowery Poetry Club last month to hear the East Village band Ninth Street Mission, above, play a benefit concert for the tenants of 47 E. Third St. The tenants have waged a three-and-a-half-year legal battle against their landlords, who are trying to evict them under the owner-occupancy provision, so that they can convert the entire 15-unit, 60-room building into a private mansion.

Before the show, Janet Dunson, one of the residents, right, explained the statewide importance of the case. The tenants recently faced a setback at the Appellate Division. They are appealing the ruling, but their legal bills are already in excess of $150,000, according to Dunson.

Toward the end of the night, the band’s guitarist, Quinn Raymond, told the crowd, “A lot of tenants in our city have been intimidated and frightened out of their homes by landlords who take advantage of these owner-occupancy loopholes. The Third St. tenants decided to stay and fight. Not just for themselves, but for tenants across the state.

“I grew up literally next door to these folks,” Raymond said. “What’s happening to them could happen to my family, it could happen to anyone in a rent-stabilized apartment. Enough is enough.”

To contribute to the tenants’ legal defense fund, visit www.47e3.org. 

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