Pictorial History of the Tenant Movement

30. As rent levels escalated as a result of speculation, gentrification, and cooperative conversions, the number of homeless climbed. The latter included both families and single persons who simply could not find homes they could afford and were forced to live in shelters and on the streets. The tenant movement was slow to realize the seriousness of this issue and how relevant it was to its own causes. However, on May 4, 1985, housing activists organized a protest march in conjunction with the Coalition on the Homeless. Their route led them through midtown Manhattan to Trump Tower, a symbol of the pro-business, anti-poor policies of Mayor Koch's administration because of the tax breaks its developer had been given -- subsidies that tenant leaders argued could have been used instead for sorely needed housing (May 4, 1985). Photo by George Cohen.

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