NEW YORK — It’s going on across the city: lower income people being squeezed out of apartments so landlords can jack up the rent. Orlando Cotto became an activist in his building, located at 295 W. 150th St. He did it because he says his landlord, Yitzchak Horowitz of LGL Associates, is trying to oust the Section 8 tenants like him.
“After seeing what transpired with the rest of the tenants someone had to step up for them," Horowitz said.
The Metropolitan Council on Housing’s Nova Lucero said this kind of forced gentrification is a big problem.
“It's a good picture of what’s happening across New York City. There is already a lot of landlord harassment right with tenants that are rent preferential or stabilized as in this case. And there is a big push to get them out so they can increase the rent," Lucero said.
The building on 295 W. 150th has quite a few open violations, according to web site of the city Department of Housing Preservation. In housing court last week, a judge told the landlord’s attorneys he wants the place fixed up by the end of this week. But when I paid a visit on Tuesday, nothing had been done.
So I went looking for Yitzchak Horowitz. I went to a couple of offices where he’s been listed. I got the silent treatment and little help. Why? Good question. His attorneys did not return phone calls. Why? Again, good question. Perhaps we’ll get answers to some other questions when the parties are due back in court on Oct. 7.