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LEOTA is a non-profit organization, incorporated under the laws of the state of New York, we are dedicated to ensuring the proper administration of safe and affordable housing for the tenants of Land’s End One, and promoting income appropriate community amenities in our area, through activism, raising public awareness, and engaging our public Officials.

Our Story

LEO BuildingLand’s End One is the oldest building of a five building complex, many tenants have lived in Land’s End One for the past 26 years since the building opened. In that time we have become a part of the fabric that makes up this community, a community that is in danger of being ripped apart by gentrification. Apart from the fact that we’ve helped our landlord to purchase this property while they’ve benefiting from our socio-economic status, we are being robbed of our communities’ equity. It is the social cost that is truly the most expensive. What’s to prevent us from being subjected to this again in 25 years, once we’ve moved to another community, if there are no laws to protect us? This must stop now, our landlord owes us, and this community, as it is the tenants of Land’s End One, and the surrounding community that have made our landlord wealthy enough to buy-out of their mortgage. The City, and State of New York owes it’s working-class citizens a right to preserve it’s long standing communities by ensuring they keep housing safe and affordable. Please join L.E.O.T.A. in this fight to save our communities!

Brief History

The Lower East Side, a neighborhood built by immigrants throughout history, is south of the East Village and east of SoHo. This area once housed African Americans freed from slavery, immigrants from Ireland during the potato famines, and Jews, Germans, Italians and many more seeking better lives for their families. The Lower East Side owes much of its rich and chronicled history to its working-class inhabitants.   Throughout the 1950s, city planners and others pushed for middle-class redevelopment of working-class districts (slums). Postwar changes in the U.S. Housing Act allowed for higher uses of cleared slum land other than the building of new low-income housing. Most important was the Title I provision of the 1949 Housing Act which allowed for new developments geared toward middle-class use, such as medium-rent housing, new office buildings, parking areas, and transportation improvements.

During the 1950s, many older, working-class neighborhoods were targeted for urban renewal. This policy forced thousands of Puerto Rican and other minority families to be relocated from one poor neighborhood to another or to the city’s public housing units. After World War II, the federal administration began to dismantle wartime rent controls; tenants in New York State mounted a relentless campaign to pass legislation that would continue the rent controls. In the mid-fifties the introduction of the Mitchell-Lama program offered some welcomed relief. A statewide program started in 1955, Mitchell-Lama offered tax breaks and low-interest loans to developers in exchange for keeping buildings affordable for 20 years. Now these contracts have begun to expire, giving owners the right to opt out of the program--and, in some cases, dramatically raises rents.   For more than a half century developers, to put it positively, have sought to “revitalize” or “upgrade” the Lower East Side, and many other parts of the city. Unfortunately, the effects of these efforts are seldom positive, particularly when they result in the displacement of thousands of working-class families. Yet again the residents of the Lower East Side are in danger of losing affordable housing in our neighborhood.  

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