Monday, November 24, 2008

Prevent an eviction

If you read Howard Hemsley's letter in the Villager, you know the irony of this case: squatters-turned-owners evicting their mentally handicapped neighbor to sell his apartment at a huge profit. Please take a moment to help out the defenseless by signing
this petition (

Here are more details of Alfredo's case, courtesy of Paul Newell:

Please take a minute to sign this petition ( to prevent the impending eviction of Alfredo Barreto from his Lower East Side apartment.

Alfredo is a 47-year-old disabled lifelong Lower East Sider. His mother, Carmen Barreto, is a pillar of this community, longtime activist and personal friend. Alongside his mother, Alfredo has participated in most of the struggles for justice and decency in this neighborhood over the last decades.

The Lower East Side once was a haven for squatters who championed the rights of homeless and mentally handicapped individuals to occupy buildings. Today, however, those same squatters, made powerful by a City's generosity, pull the same stunts they formerly attributed to greedy landlords.

Such is the case with Alfredo Barreto. Barreto, who has lived quietly at the squat on 7 ½ Second Avenue for 7 years, now faces homelessness as his former comrades become property owners who stand to benefit from the sale of his apartment.

"This is the latest phase of gentrification on the Lower East Side," says Howard Hemsley, Alfredo's court-appointed guardian and community activist. "As a mentally handicapped man Alfredo was never a part of the clique at this squat, but we never expected he would be treated to this kind of hypocritical brutality. They've gone from embracing the rights of all to housing to forcing someone with just as much right as they under the law into homelessness."

In 2002, the City of New York transferred title for one dollar to 7 ½ Second Avenue to UHAB, a not-for-profit organization that creates tenant-owned cooperative apartments. One might think that would make the squatter-residents appreciate generosity. Unfortunately, that's not the case. As the holiday season begins, Alfredo Barreto, is being evicted by his neighbors and UHAB. UHAB's excuse for taking Mr. Barreto's apartment and selling it is a dispute with the apartment's previous tenant, a dispute that has nothing to do with Alfredo, who tended to his cats and caused no trouble. UHAB has refused to even consider giving Alfredo a rental apartment in one of the many units it manages.

"We were so proud and happy that Alfredo could live on his own," said his mother. "It's a dream our family has had - that Alfredo could be a functioning adult, living in his own place. I guess that doesn't mean anything to UHAB."

Please take one minute to sign this petition. We are fighting in court and in the streets. Last week we held a protest outside UHAB's Wall Street headquarters. Please join us in this fight.

Thank you very much. Please also let me know if you would like to be more involved in this effort.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Paul Newell

1 comment:

Larry said...

Hi I have read your article,I liked it.Today landlord are always thinking about profit, sometimes evicting a tenant is a terrible.In most states a landlord can give an eviction notice for a tenant to move without giving any reason. Most areas require landlords to inform tenants of their intention to evict and give them a window of time to correct the situation.

The eviction process is never really pleasant, but it can be made smooth and hassle-free by following all regulations set out by your state's legislature. Should you need advice, your lawyer can help you to find out the processes necessary to handle the eviction properly.For more information visit eviction process.