Tuesday, February 28, 2006

IMPORTANT NEWS: Local Bushwick Family Gets Tossed Out into the Cold by RBSCC!

Press Release:

ON ONE OF THE COLDEST DAYS OF THE YEAR: a single mom with 4 children was evicted by a non-profit organization in Bushwick, Brooklyn that receives city money to provide homelessness prevention.

February 28, 2006

At 1 pm on Monday, February 27, 2006, on one of the coldest days of the year, a mother with four children was evicted from her city-subsidized apartment by a Non-profit organization that also receives the only New York City funds to provide eviction and homelessness prevention in her community.

Ruth Perez-Calderon is a mother of four who resides in Bushwick, Brooklyn and receives Public Assistance. Her landlord, Ridgewood-Bushwick Senior Citizens Homecare Council, Inc. is one of the largest social service organizations in the entire city. They evicted her for owing approximately $6000.00 in rent. However, the property where Ms. Perez-Calderon resided was granted to Ridgewood-Bushwick Senior Citizens Council (RBSCC) by the City of New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development for the purposes of preserving affordable housing. What is even more outrageous is that RBSCC has also recently obtained a large contract from the New York City Department of Homeless Services to provide Eviction and Homelessness Prevention in the Bushwick community: a community with one of the highest rates of Homelessness in all of New York City.

At approximately 10 am on the morning of the eviction, one of our staff members spoke with a representative of RBSCC and informed them that we had secured an apartment for Ms. Perez-Calderon and her children, but that the apartment would not be ready for her until Thursday March 2, and we needed a brief postponement of the eviction to avoid Ms. Perez-Calderon’s homelessness. RBSCC representatives refused to grant an extension! Ms. Perez-Calderon is now homeless, and our organization is presently paying for her and her children to stay in a local motel while we make arrangements to move her to an apartment.


For More Information Contact:

Rick Echevarria, Associate Director
(718) 574-3007 Office
(917) 536-4821 Mobile

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

BHIP Hosts Tenant Meeting / Workshop for Undocumented Immigrants

BHIP Associate Director, Rick Echevarria, addresses tenants' concerns
at the BHIP Tenant Meeting / Workshop on Feb. 7th

This past Tuesday evening, Feb. 7, BHIP staff members held their first Tenant Meeting / Workshop specifically geared toward assisting undocumented immigrants living in Bushwick, Brooklyn who have been harassed by overzealous landlords and homeowners. Although only a few tenants attended the tenant workshop, it was an effective and enlightening experience as to the plight that so many good, hard-working immigrants are facing on a daily basis in our community; the denial of their tenant rights and their dignity. The stories shared of being disrespected, unjust treatment, threatened with eviction, and even threats of being reported to INS just to instill fear in them was very powerful, moving, and helped to raise awareness in all present that these types of tactics happen all too commonly in our community, and that this unjust treatment has to come to an end. These are some of the pictures taken of this important gathering.

BHIP Housing Specialist, Yolanda Coca, speaks to a concerned tenant
at the BHIP Tenant Workshop held at 144 Bleecker St. on Feb. 7th

This important Tenant Workshop organized and facilitated by BHIP was created to help ease undocumented tenants' concerns by educating them and informing them of their rights, proper tenant and landlord protocol, as well as providing them with the forum to express their feelings, connect with one another, to be assured that they are not alone in their struggle, and to assist them maintain their apartments through the law.

A tenant shares his experience at the BHIP Tenant Meeting/ Workshop

We sincerely thank the tenants who attended the BHIP Meeting / Workshop, shared their stories with us, showed great courage and committed to continue working with us at BHIP so that we can better serve them not only in their individual cases but as a whole. The tenants continued imput and assistance will help us greatly in making sure that their issues and concerns are not only heard, but fully addressed and something done about them. BHIP will be organizing these important meeting / workshops for all tenants being unjustly treated and threatened with evicition, to help educate tenants of their rights, to assist in organizing them and in taking proper action when faced with unreasonable landlords. We look to offer these meetings at least once a week to address tenant issues and individual cases, especially those tenants who are undocumented immigrants living in our community and are living in fear of being deported because of their housing situation.

If you are a tenant being unjustly treated by your landlord, have no heat, are living in poor housing conditions while you have been faithfully paying your rent, or are withholding your rent because of neglect by your landlord over your housing situation, are being threatened with evicition by your landlord or his/her lawyers, or know of someone or a family who is, contact us at Bushwick Housing Independence Project. We have two office locations in Bushwick, Brooklyn. You can call us at our main office (718)574-3007 or at (718)456-4441.
Fax us at (718)574-3034.

You could also e-mail our staff members:
Rick Echevarria, Associate Director - Rick@bhiponline.org
Yolanda Coca, Housing Specialist - Yolanda@bhiponline.org

We look forward to serving you!

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

BHIP's Mission Statement

Bushwick Housing Independence Project’s (BHIP) Mission:
is to preserve existing affordable housing for low and moderate-income families in Bushwick, and adjacent communities in North and Central Brooklyn.

BHIP Staff

Msgr. John Powis
Executive Director

Rick Echevarria

Associate Director

e-mail: Rick@bhiponline.org

Yolanda Coca

Housing Specialist

e-mail: Yolanda@bhiponline.org

Renato Jordan

Marketing / Outreach Coordinator

e-mail: rjordan@bhiponline.org

Kennedy Rivera
Housing Specialist