By: Elise Goldin
Working as a tenant organizer with the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) has taught me an enormous amount about topics I had only barely understood from college- affordable housing, mortgages, lending practices, organizing strategies. UHAB has focused the past few years on its campaign around Predatory Equity, or what happens when buildings are bought for a price that building owners cannot sustain. When this takes place, conditions in buildings worsen and they often go into foreclosure, and all the while it is the tenants who suffer from the consequences of their irresponsible landlords.
As an AVODAH Corps member working at UHAB, the focus of my work has been to organize tenants once their buildings fall into foreclosure, and ideally work with them to have a voice in the future of their building. Rather than cycle into another round of Predatory Equity, we guide tenants through determining the way they want the building to function in the future through “tenant choice.” To help explain more about the nature of the multi-family foreclosure crisis in New York, we have developed a report, which can be found on our blog, The Surreal Estate. I hope you enjoy.
Elise Goldin is from Evaston, IL and attended Macalester College. As a New York AVODAH Corps member, she is a Tenant Organizer at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, which supports self-help housing and community building in low-income neighborhoods by training, organizing, developing, and assisting resident-controlled limited-equity housing co-operatives.