From a global pandemic to social injustice widespread across the nation, recent times have been pretty hard on the BIPOC community.
For many New Yorkers specifically, the rough patch is now affecting their homeownership after a city program has done shady dealings to oust them from their property in favor of developers with gentrification on their minds.
NBC BLK reported on the issue, detailing a class-action lawsuit involving four plaintiffs who say NYC’s Third Party Transfer program has done unfair practices in order to get them removed from their homes by way of a technicality that began decades ago.
Take a look at how the city was able to accomplish this through the legal system, via NBC BLK:
“Through the program, which began in the 1990s under the Rudolph Giuliani administration, private property can be seized on the grounds ofunpaid utility bills or abandonment. The purpose was to give properties to developers to create low-income housing while eradicating widespread blight.
The plaintiffs say the city seized properties that did not meet the ‘distressed’ criteria and failed to notify nearly 700 mostly Black and Latino homeowners in a timely manner that their property was at risk of confiscation or offer any way for them to keep their homes.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit confirmed back in June that the lawsuit could move forward after it was initially stalled by a lower court.
While the report suggests plaintiff homeowners in the lawsuit will more than likely not get their homes back, they are asking to be compensated for the amount of lost equity and wealth — a collectively whopping $1 billion according to plaintiff attorneys Gregg Weiner and Matthew Berman.
Former homeowners Sherlivia Thomas-Murchison, McConnell Dorce and Cecelia Jones are leading the suit. It’s worth nothing that soon after it was first filed back in 2019, the Third Party Transfer program was actually suspended following backlash. While the payout looks like a pretty massive reach, we just pray these strong NYers are able to find a proper place to call home soon enough.
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