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Moral equity

I may not own my apartment or the building it's in, but having lived there for 37+ years gives me moral equity. It's my home. It belongs to me emotionally, physically, atmospherically—just not legally.

I say this thinking about how my neighborhood, the East Village, has been eaten up by real estate interests, driving out poor and working and middle-class people. Many of my friends are harassed by their landlords, who would love to "renovate" their apartments then lease them for 3x or 4x as much rent. How can that be right?


Those of us who have lived here since the '60, '70s & early '80s can tell you that there were a lot of scary blocks and buildings. We came here to be poets, musicians, artists, and paying a hundred bucks for a place to live meant we had time to devote to our art & not just make the rent. We were also, inadvertently, the cutting edge of gentrification.

We should get to stay in our homes.

That said, my landlord is great & not trying to get us out at all. He's carried almost every tenant, often for months, without once trying to evict anyone.

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