NYC Tenants Don’t Want Tourists

Tenants in New York City are getting fed up as growing numbers of tourists camp out in their buildings. Landlords have taken to evicting tenants from single room occupancy buildings and making their units available to tourists for overnights or one-week stays. A grassroots housing group has counted 36 buildings in the Chelsea and Clinton neighborhoods it believes are being used at least in part as youth hostels, vacation rentals or temporary quarters for corporate employees. Many of these landlords are converting their units without getting proper permits from the city. Housing advocates are pushing the city to consider legislative action to curb illegal conversions. (NY Times, 1/22)

John Atlas is a founder of Shelterforce and board chair emeritus. He is the producer of ACORN and the Firestorm, a film directed by Reuben Atlas and Sam Pollard and author of SEEDS OF CHANGE: The Story of ACORN, America's Most Controversial Anti-Poverty Community Group. He is also the former executive director of the Passaic County Legal Aid Society.
Peter Dreier is professor of politics at Occidental College and has contributed to Shelterforce since the 1970s. He served for many years on the board of the National Housing Institute and was a founder of the Massachusetts Tenants Organization in the 1980s and has worked with housing activist groups since then.


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