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New Haven tenant union calls for landlord to enter negotiations

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker (D).
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker (D).

Mayor Justin Elicker rallied alongside a fourth New Haven tenant union on Wednesday. The Lenox Street Tenants Union petitioned outside of their landlord’s office, Ocean Management.

Elicker said he wants to see an agreement with the union and Ocean Management to establish better living conditions for the residents of Lenox Street.

“Ocean Management is not keeping these properties at a level that is healthy and safe and humane, for the tenants, whether it’s flooding or mold or just general maintenance,” Elicker said.

Residents are worried about talks of Ocean Management selling their Lenox Street properties. These concerns caused the union to petition their landlord to adopt a yearly lease, rather than the current month-by-month payment, to help avoid mass eviction.

The union also wants Ocean Management to eliminate mold and rodent infestations, and create a system where issues can be resolved, like regular trash pickup.

The Lenox Street union has given Ocean Management until Feb. 13 to respond to the petition but stopped short of mentioning what will happen afterward.

“I ask you this: Do we need members of our community to break their bones and pay for lawyers for the landlords of the city of New Haven to follow our housing laws?” said Hannah Srajer, president of the larger Connecticut Tenants Union.

Ocean Management has yet to respond to the petition and requests for comment.

Maya Duclay is a news intern at WSHU for the spring of 2024.