Senator Julia Salazar and Homeowners Organize and Testify for Brooklyn’s First “Cease and Desist Zone in East New York

East New York, Brooklyn, NY - State Senator Julia Salazar (D-Brooklyn), together with the Coalition for Community Advancement and East New York homeowners, will testify today, Thursday March 5th, from 5-8 PM at 127 Pennsylvania Avenue at a Department of State hearing for Brooklyn’s first “Cease and Desist” zone, which would protect the neighborhood from aggressive real estate speculation that is fueling displacement in the neighborhood. Senator Salazar worked together with the Coalition for Community Advancement to collect and submit over 500 reports of real estate speculation in the neighborhood to the Department of State that prompt them to call this hearing. 


State Senator Julia Salazar said: “It’s urgent for my constituents in East New York that the Department of State institute a Cease and Desist zone. I have personally witnessed aggressive solicitation and unscrupulous tactics used by real estate speculators to displace a historically black and brown community. Housing justice is not limited to tenants rights. Small homeowners are harassed constantly by a greedy real estate industry and we need to come together to fight against the corporate landlords and big investors that are blighting our communities and artificially inflating land values, which affects both rents and property taxes.”


"The unchecked and unbridled real estate speculation that is so aggressively active in East New York and other Black and Latino communities in New York is putting an end to the culture and generational wealth we have created and invested in for lifetimes"  - Brother PaulToomer Muhammad , Muhammad Mosque 7c leader. 


“After 53 years living here, I feel investors are trying to push me out...I don't plan to leave my area, my kids were raised and educated here. I have a lot of memories. I don't feel that I should be pushed out of here ...This is my community. Investors and real estate agents have been following me over the community, pressuring me to sell my property. I was followed to the laundromat. I feel threatened and pressured to sell. I have been receiving a lot of mail, tons of letters, all trying to buy the property. They come to my door, knocking in the morning and evening. I have told them not to call me. It’s not a good experience” -Onelia Torres, East New York community resident  


"I am a 50 year homeowner in the East New York community. My home was passed down from my mother and only family members have lived in this house. I am deeply concerned about the private investors constantly trying to connect with me. In my family we are vested in our community, in our block, and creating legacies. My children and grandkids have gone to the same elementary, as well as junior high school. We want to be able to keep our tradition of black homeowners/entrepreneurs...”We will never sell” -Linda Ford, East New York Homeowner


"ENY needs a Cease and Desist Zone to allow for equitable and sustainable development of its neighborhood without the fear of intimidation and threats by predatory individuals and businesses." -Michael Keller, founding Coalition for Community Advancement: Progress for East New York/Cypress Hills Steering Committee Member