Anderson Fils Aime kicks back and tells me a story.

Back in May of this year, a month after he’d begun working as an organizer for the Pratt Area Community Council, he was at a community meeting when a woman approached him. “A resident comes in with this package saying, ‘My landlord’s trying to raise my rent.’ I say, ‘Well, are you in a rent-stabilized building?’ She says, ‘I don’t know, I just got this thing from DHCR [Division of Housing and Community Renewal].’”

”This thing” was a notice that her landlord was opting out of the Section 8 program, under which rents in her building had been kept below market. On June 1, the building would convert to market rates. It was May 20th. “I’m scrambling for 10 days,” Anderson recalls, “it’s the Memorial day holiday, people are outta town—and I’m like, what is going on here?” Read more…