Norwood Tenants Say "We're Not Leaving"; Hold Lemonade Sit-In, to Protest Broken Elevator in Sweltering Heat
At the Norwood Apartments in Northwest DC , the elevator has been out of service for one month, the hottest of the year. Many tenants have been without air conditioning for even longer. Making the best out of a difficult situation, starting today July 11, 2007, the Norwood Tenants Association will hold a lemonade-sit-in at the building lobby to greet fatigued residents from 3pm to 7pm, every day until the elevator is fixed. Residents will be greeted with a cold refreshment before they venture up the stairs in the nearly 100 degree heat.
Tenants have been forced to lug strollers, bikes, groceries and laundry up seven stories of stairs since June 14, 2007, when a resident was trapped in the elevator. Shortly after, the DCRA cited the building owner for numerous elevator safety violations. Despite tenant complaints and mounting fines, management has moved at a snails pace in making repairs.
The Norwood Apartments is an 84 unit rent-controlled building in the Logan Circle area, which was the subject of a condo-conversion pitch in January 2007. The tenants refused to discuss condo conversion until building maintenance problems were fixed.
In addition to the elevator woes, many tenants are battling bedbugs, mice, mold, no heat or air conditioning, persistent gas leaks, and security problems, with little or no help from management. We tenants are expressing our absolute right to stay in our homes, and calling on the landlord to make repairs.
The reductions in service at the Norwood can be seen as de facto eviction tactics aimed at longstanding residents. "We are holding this lemonade-sit-in to show the landlord that we won't be bullied into leaving," said Norwood Tenant Association board member, David Fabian. Affordable rental housing is a dwindling commodity in DC, and for some landlords, the urge to convert to condos blinds them from their duty to provide safe and habitable housing. The tenants at the Norwood Apartments stand in solidarity in saying 'We're Not Leaving!' (¡No nos vamos!)
TENAC strongly supports the Norwood and their tenants’ association, in their long and valiant struggle, and salutes their excellent leadership.
D.C. TENANTS’ ADVOCACY COALITION
REPRESENTING ALL D.C. TENANTS
P.O. BOX 7237 WASHINGTON, DC 20044 (202) 628-3688
WEBSITE: www.tenac.org E-MAIL: tenacdc (at) yahoo.com