Brooklyn tenants face evictions as real estate firm buys hundreds of apartments

Brooklyn

PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn — Many Brooklyn tenants are facing displacement after they say a private equity firm purchased over 100 residential buildings in the borough.

The tenants claim they’re being kicked out in an effort to find higher-paying tenants.

Anh-Thu Nguyen has lived in her apartment at 70 Prospect Park West in Park Slope for 12 years, but in March, she was given a notice saying she had 90 days to vacate her apartment with no option to renew her lease.

“If I leave my home, I’m not going to be living in this neighborhood again,” Nyugen said. “I know that for certain because I won’t be able to afford it.”

Private equity real estate firm Greenbrook Partners purchased the building prior to the notice being distributed.

City Councilmember Brad Lander said this is when the residents began to organize.

“Gradually, tenants did the research to see what other buildings had Greenbrook bought up and first it was a dozen, and then it was 40, and now it is 107 buildings in Brooklyn,” Lander said.

Many of those tenants from different buildings gathered outside the Park Slope building on Friday in protest of the notice. Between organizing and legal efforts, they’ve been able to stay – so far.

Gentrification is no stranger to Brooklyn and local elected officials rallying alongside the tenants say the move is to kick out the current residents to find others who will pay more.

Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer lives in the neighborhood and was there in support.

“There is nothing more despicable – despicable – than these predatory real estate equity firms trying to make illegal, in my judgement, billions of dollars on the backs of tenants and kicking them out of their homes,” Schumer said.

Tenants claim further research found that the Texas Permanent School Fund, which is controlled by the Texas State Board of Education, invested $100 million dollars into these Brooklyn properties.

“We have a letter that I have written to the Texas education agency and I dare say that the thousands of teachers in Texas who put their money in for pensions do not want their money used to kick out tenants,” Schumer said.

The tenants are calling on the Texas agency to divest their investment while supporting new legislation that would protect tenants with good cause eviction to avoid upending their lives.

PIX11 News reached out to Greenbrook Partners and has not heard back.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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