The picture painted of 208 Evergreen Avenue by tenants and housing advocates is a study in how people on the edge of the economic abyss vanish in the swirl of buying, selling and development in what some call an “up-and-coming” neighborhood.
Bushwick Holdouts Battle Their Landlord
Msgr. John Powis, a Catholic priest and housing advocate, sees what is happening there as the flip side to the hip side of gentrification and speculation, where banks eagerly financed even the most dubious of purchases. New owners neglect repairs to push out rent-stabilized tenants, and in several extreme cases, he said, landlords have shown up unannounced at night to harangue tenants into moving.
This eight-unit tenement on Evergreen Avenue, which is half vacant (or half occupied, for you optimists out there) is the last residential building remaining on its block. Next door is an empty though newly renovated building and a floral wholesale business. But the rest of the large, triangular parcel along the elevated tracks is leveled and walled off with plywood. Residents and advocates wonder if the landlord is stalling on repairs to push the remaining tenants out of the way for development.