El Diario Editorial on Dawnay Day Properties Features Community Voices Heard

An editorial by El Diario yesterday on predatory equity features the work of El Barrio/East Harlem group Community Voices Heard (CVH) in trying to bring in a non-profit entity to preserve the troubled Dawnay Day properties as affordable for current residents.

Once owned by the British firm Dawnay Day, the buildings are in foreclosure proceedings. Dawnay Day overleveraged their properties and couldn’t meet mortgage payments.  During its ownership, tenants rallied against the owners’ attempts to push out low income tenants for the purpose of increasing rent. Community Voices Heard (CVH), a local advocacy organization, says 11 of the buildings have been already converted to market rate rents in a neighborhood where the median income is $30,000.  Click here to read the full editorial.

CVH, affordable housing advocates, non-profit developers and Melissa’s office have been working together closely on these efforts.  Currently, CVH is engaged in door-to-door surveying of the buildings’ residents to determine what kind of government financial assistance might be available to keep units affordable if a non-profit developer should acquire the property.  In the editorial, El Diario urges the undocumented immigrants living in the building to partake in the survey and to not fear disclosing their personal information.

Melissa’s office has long supported CVH, making discretionary allocations each year that have gone to support their work in our local public housing developments.


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