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 bands 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. Whats 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.