Tenant advocates release list of ‘worst’ evictors in the city

A coalition of tenants rights groups released a list of New York City’s ‘worst’ evictors who were responsible for ejecting 2,182 people from their homes in 2018.

The 20 landlords on the list each evicted between 75 and 200 people, according to data collected from Right to Counsel NYC Coalition, JustFix.NYC and the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project.

“Landlords use their power to take tenants to court repeatedly in order to wear them out with the intention of displacing them,” said Carmen Vega-Rivera, tenant leader with the Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) in the Bronx, in a statement. Vega-Rivera added that housing court only perpetuates this problem by “slapping the landlord on their wrist.”

No. 1 on the list is Phillip Wishcherth from the LeFrak Organization, which owns the Queens apartment complex Le Frak City. He evicted 189 people last year, according to the data. The LeFrak Organization did not respond immediately to a request for comment. 

Ved Parkash, a notorious Bronx landlord who was sued for refusing to take section 8 housing vouchers in 2017, made second on the list.  Parkash was ranked as ‘worst evictor’ in a similar list released by the tenants rights group in May. But that list only included landlords in zip codes where the city’s Right to Counsel law applies. The list released today encompasses all of New York City. Parkash  could not be reached immediately for comment. 

“This is an effort to reframe the conversation of whose to blame for eviction,” said Susanna Blankely from the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition. “And to let people know that they are not alone when it comes to eviction.”

Advocates also released an interactive map on Tuesday, which allows users to find where evictions happened in the city last year and the landlords responsible for them. The map shows a total of  18,007 evictions that landlords had carried out by marshals, according to advocates.

The list comes a week before the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition will host a “People’s Tribunal on Eviction,” where tenants of buildings belonging to the “worst evictors” will testify against their landlords in a mock housing court. The Tribunal is scheduled to take place on Oct. 29, at 5 p.m. at 125 Barclay St.

To view the entire tenants advocates list visit worstevictorsnyc.org

Alejandra O'Connell-Domenech