Pictorial History of the Tenant Movement
20. The decay of buildings and their abandonment by landlords led young minority tenants to experiment by taking control of such buildings and turning them into low-income cooperatives.
Initially the way was pointed by equally young middle-class innovators who knew how to manipulate bureaucratic structures. Illustration 20 shows a 1973 title transfer, in the mayor's office, of an in rem building at 334-336 East Eighth Street on the Lower East Side to a not-for-profit tenant cooperative corporation.
Several of the key low-income tenant ownership pioneers, together with two city officials and a tenant from the building, are pictured: (left to right) Milton Musicus, administrator, Municipal Services Agency; Louis Morales, coordinator of Adopt-a-Building; Juan DeLeone, tenant; Roberto Nazario, coordinator of Adopt-a-Building; Philip St. Georges, intern, Sweat Equity Program, Housing and Development Administration; Ira Duchan, commissioner, Department of Real Estate; and William Eddy, director, Adopt-a-Building.
Eddy was later one of the founders of the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB), and then an Episcopal priest; St. Georges became, successively, a staff member and then the director of UHAB, assistant commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and head of the Division of Alternative Management Programs, the regional director of the National Co-operative Bank in New York and then vice-president at its national headquarters in Washington; Nazario became president of both Adopt-a-Building and the board of the Association of Neighborhood Housing Developers, and then, after time studying at Harvard, an officer of the Development Training Institute in Baltimore headed by Father Joe McNeely, who had been assistant secretary of HUD during the Carter administration.
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