Dear Governor Cuomo,
My name is Romula Anglero; I live in Inwood with my three sons. For ten years we have been living in the same building, though things have changed dramatically since you came in office.
It usually takes me an hour to get to my cleaning job, but with the current state of the trains, it takes me way more time now. Because of my low income, I had to ask for government assistance to make it through the end of the month. During the last few years, my rent has increased, and it has gotten harder and harder to pay for rent. A couple of times I struggled to make this payment, and the landlord took me to court. He is always trying to kick out his tenants.
Things have gotten harder not only for us but everyone in my neighborhood. My community has changed dramatically over the last five years. Many people that used to live here have ended up moving to New Jersey or the Bronx, and so many stores have closed because of the rent hikes.
Gentrification has taken over Inwood, and things keep getting worse for the working-class people who once lived here. You see new people living in the buildings, and you can tell that the landlords prefer them. Landlords have too much power now; they are looking into kicking us out and bringing people with money. This new type of tenant is the one they prefer; this is the people that you are working for Governor ––not for the working class.
I have not only seen this change in my neighborhood; I now see so many people asking for money in the streets and sleeping in the subways. This wasn't happening before. This is not fair Governor. We hear you have invested in housing, but I haven't seen anything change for the better. We need affordable housing, if you have made any housing investments as you claim, the money has been directed somewhere else, but not to our communities.
I can only hope I can stay in this apartment. If I have to find somewhere else to live, I don't know what I would do. I can barely make it until the end of the month; it would be impossible for me to get enough money for a down payment.
Governor Cuomo, we need affordable housing, and we need rent laws to protect tenants. You need to serve the people that need it the most and stop favoring real estate investors.
Inwood, New York
o, NY, in the Village of Akron. I am a resident of the Akron Mobile Home Park, now known as Akron Estates. I have lived in this community for 12 years with my husband Shawn and my 18-year-old son Jacob.
Sunrise Capital Investors (SCI) purchased our community in November. As soon as this happened, our nightmare started. We received a new lease stating that our lot rent (monthly rent we pay for the land our homes sit on) will go up from $290 to $425 per month starting April 1st. On top of this, we have been threatened with eviction if we decide not to sign it.
We’ve also seen the maintenance of our community fall through the cracks. Akron, like many upstate New York towns, receives a lot of snow during the winter months. SCI has done a terrible job keeping pathways clear, which has made many of the residents' slip and fall.
We all mostly live on a fixed income in which case; if we succumb to the rent increase, we won't be able to eat or pay any bills. This increase will mean that 118 tenants in our park will pay $5100 a year for nothing other than the land their home sits on. Homeowners will be forced out of their own homes eventually.
Due to the lack of inventory of affordable homes, we would have a hard time finding something close to where we call home to live. We also would not have enough time to sell our house and find a new place to live if they choose to throw us out on April 1st.
Governor Cuomo, you need to implement real tenant and manufactured homeowner rights. We currently have very little protection. Without sufficient protections in place, many have had their economic and retirement security left in tatters, and even worse, many of us soon could end up homeless because of this.
We need you to invest in housing quality and expand rent control protections so that our communities will no longer be preyed upon by unscrupulous and immoral real estate investors.
The Village of Akron in Buffalo, New York