Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Crowdfunding help for the residents displaced by Madison Reality Capital construction on 14th Street

The Cooper Square Committee helped establish a GoFundMe campaign for the tenants displaced from 642 E. 14th St. by a vacate order. 

On Nov. 28, as we first reported, the residents — most of them in rent-stabilized units — were abruptly vacated after ongoing excavation on a Madison Reality Capital-owned 24-story development next door on the SW corner of Avenue C destabilized the five-story building. 

The city gave tenants a short time on Nov. 28 to leave the premises. The Red Cross put up the residents in a Chinatown hotel through Dec. 3. During a rally on Dec. 14, several residents discussed their makeshift living situations, from the apartments of friends to shelters. 

The residents, local advocates, and elected officials have called on Madison Realty Capital to provide accommodations for the displaced residents from the firm's extensive LES portfolio. 

So far, according to the GoFundMe campaign: "Madison Realty Capital has offered up to 10 apartments, all one-bedrooms, but at rents that most of these modest income tenants cannot afford. Several households are families that need 2 bedroom apartments, which MRC says it can't accommodate." 

Here's more from the campaign:
Cooper Square Committee, local elected officials, and legal service organizations are assisting the tenants in their efforts to find affordable relocation housing as soon as possible and to get Madison Realty Capital and their landlord, Jack Lebewohl, to make repairs to their building so that they can return to their apartments at some point in 2024. 

With your help, the tenants can access housing they can afford while they temporarily relocate. We estimate it will cost about $95,000 to help the tenants cover the difference in rent at new apartments in NYC and to cover the cost of food since they can't cook in the shelter, and they have had to buy new clothes since they can't access their apartments. They will need to buy furniture for their relocation apartments as well. 
And from residents...
"This last month has been met with the most traumatic uncertainty for my neighbors and me, and while we should be celebrating the holidays or looking forward to the new year, we're instead couch hopping or living in shelters. We are exhausted and broken, and after almost 4 weeks, we're still left in the dark about what comes next." — Lindsey, Apt. 7 

 "I have four young children who miss their neighborhood, who miss their school, who miss our friends. I wish nobody would go through this, what we experienced in the last couple of weeks." — Mohamed, Apt. 13 

"We got kicked out of our home in the cold winter. We are homeless, and we are in pain. We need justice! Major Eric Adams and fellow New Yorkers, Please, Please stand with us. Josh Zegen of Madison Realty Capital and our landlord Jack Lebewohl are NOT getting away with this. " — Lin. Apt. 17 

"Please help us — we are homeless, in shelters, or staying on friends' couches. Neither our landlord nor Madison Realty Capital have yet to offer affordable long-term housing." — Susan, Apt 6 
You can find the campaign here

Previously on EV Grieve


  1. Madison Realty Capital caused recklessly damages to their building. Therefore they ought to secure for all the displaced tenants nearby hotel rooms until their housing is fixed. For every minute Madison Reality Capital fails to act, they ought Tobe also liabile to pay compensation for mental anghuish and punitive damages. If laws are missing to enforce this, then city council needs to jump into action, as the mayor cannot be counted on.

  2. Laws are not made to be passed in days.
    And "crowd" being ask to foot 95K out of generosity and mercy is just 21st century ridiculousness.
    They need a good lawyer, who wants to be in the headlines.

  3. It is outrageous that when something like this happens, the displaced tenants are just shit-out-of-luck: they cannot get ANYTHING they need that was still in their apartments when they left (important paperwork, jewelry, electronics, clothing, books, furniture, etc.); all of that has effectively been STOLEN from them.

    Meanwhile, Madison or any other developer (all of which are worth hundred of millions if not billions) just gets to (essentially) shrug its shoulders, as if ITS ACTIONS were not the cause of this situation!

    There needs to be a LAW, and a strong law, that unequivocally holds the DEVELOPER responsible for the full amount and extent of the damage caused.

    If we had a LAW such that, if your development caused this kind of thing, your project's work site got TOTALLY CLOSED DOWN until you'd rectified things for ALL the displaced tenants, then developers would be far more careful, and tenants wouldn't always get the shortest end of the stick.

    I wonder why we don't have such a law, hmmm? Help me out here...

  4. I hope the inevitable lawsuit lets those people get whole again. I put myself in their situation and have no idea what I would do. Madison Capital deserves to be bled for this.

  5. Boycott Jack Lebewohl's Second Ave. Deli! Maybe that will get his attention!

  6. If I win the powerball tonight I’ll help these folks immediately
    Then hire the best lawyer to go after any and all that are responsible and make them pay up

  7. Agree that there should be a law which holds the developer responsible in a case such as this Shuts down their work site until tenants are relocated and made whole. As is, developers have a free pass as usual when they cause enormous harm to tenants.

  8. I just donated 300. I know its not a lot, but I hope it helps.

  9. @9:36AM: Hello, Mr. Grinch!

    WHY shouldn't there be crowdfunding to try to help these displaced tenants? They are human beings, they are members of our community, and they need help. Why would you discourage people from offering them help? If you don't want to dig into your pocket, then don't - but don't diss or piss on the efforts of others who DO want to help.

    I see crowdfunding campaigns for causes that are far less important than this situation is.

    If people give enough to the gofundme campaign, maybe the tenants can hire a lawyer with a big mouth who can keep this in headlines and in the awareness of people like the Mayor, the Governor (not that she really cares, IMO), etc.

  10. Madison Realty Capital was sued by the New York Attorney General for buying up a bunch of fully rent stabilized East Village buildings and purposely illegally evicting rent stabilized tenants so they could charge market rate. They settled and got away with it by paying a fine and a measly restitution to remaining rent stabilized tenants (who they still want out by neglecting repairs in rent stabilized apartments) - they got to keep these buildings.

    Private equity companies run by 1%ers are succeeding at taking over housing country-wide at the expense and well-being of the other 99% of us! It’s unethical and immoral but ya know what? It’s f’in legal! No one in charge cares because of lobbyists.

    I detest the revolting ethos behind private equity and I needn’t go into a rant about how to fix it. Just, shame on them. Shame, shame, shame on Madison Realty Capital.

  11. Don’t developers have insurance for things like this?

  12. Just donated.

    But it’s an issue that the City won’t ensure proper free long-term hotel housing for these residents or residents of the Bronx building collapse
    Yet the City is providing hotel for newly arrived migrants.

    NYC residents-taxpayers deserve services, deserve priority

  13. @7:25AM: Agree with you totally! Where is Mayor Adams? Why isn't HE OUTSIDE THIS BUILDING, promising ALL the tenants free housing and support for the duration? If we can do it for migrants who just show up here, we should definitely prioritize people who have been tax-paying citizens of this city, who have lived here for a long time.

    I also want to see Mayor Adams show some backbone and tell Madison that Madison will be getting the bill for ALL the services NYC provides to these displaced tenants, and further, that Madison won't be getting a CofO on their new development until they repay the city the ENTIRE amount of money that helping these citizens costs, no matter how much the total is. Madison has very, very deep pockets, and can well afford to pay for this.

  14. @7:37
    And not a mention by the NYT "paper of record" about the 3 recent displacements of NYC residents- 14th St here, Bronx building collapse and Queens building fire.
    (And in these emergencies the Red Cross only provides limited time hotel and not near by)

    NYT constantly writing about need for affordable housing (yes there is need) - but zero NYT mention of all the housing lost (from emergencies like these to landlord holding vacant etc) and what happens to residents.

  15. HOW can anyone blame the landlord Jack Lebewohl for what Madison Realty did to his building?

    People are really going nuts these days.


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