Bruce Green of the Stony Brook Tenants Union spoke at the rally against displacement on June 2 in Hyde Park. Photo by Valerie Li.
Stony Brook Village residents rallied against their home’s management company for retaliatory rent increase, evictions, and unlivable housing conditions on June 2, at the property in Hyde Park. Two local activist groups City Life/ Vida Urbana and the Boston Democratic Socialists of America joined the rally, hoping to send a strong message to the property owners.
“We are here to support the tenants because we’ve heard massive rent hike recently,” said Helen Matthews, Communications Manager of City Life/ Vida Urbana. “This housing project is supposed to remain affordable for the tenants and the rent increase will make affordability impossible. We are here to make sure they’re not forced onto the streets.”
Many of the Stony Brook tenants have already received threats of eviction for asking the management for maintenance help.
“Last year, the manager tried to evict me because I reported there was flooding in my apartment,” resident Skyndy Suffrin said. She has been living at Stony Brook for more than seven years. “We sent a letter addressing the issues, such as molding and broken security cameras, that had been going on and the manager changed the policy to make parking more difficult.”
Bruce Green of Stony Brook Tenants Union addressed the crowd. “I cannot withstand the poor management anymore because I know the law is on my side,” he said. “It’s been almost a year since our tenants decided to organize. In the past year, I’ve seen toll trucks and eviction notices but I’m not going anywhere and so are you.”
“The city (of Boston) has enough money with the taxes we pay,” said Ronel Remy of City Life/ Vida Urbana. “They develop beautiful shopping malls and train stations near us. Now, they are trying evict us.”
The property management company is Lincoln Avenue Capital, a real estate developer that focuses on providing families with low-income housing. Stony Brook Village Apartments is a 98-unit affordable housing complex where all units are supposed to be rented at 60 percent of Area Median Income(AMI).