Protestors on Friday planned to demonstrate outside an apartment building in Roxbury where many longtime residents face eviction.
Of the 15 units in the building, five tenants remain at 9-15 Ruggles Street in Dudley Square, advocacy group City Life/Vida Urbana told Metro.
Protestors planned to gather there at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, where they hope to convince the building’s new owner not to renovate those five remaining units, and to keep rents low for residents who can’t afford to find somewhere else to live, organizers said.
“I don’t want to leave Roxbury. I was born and raised here. This is my home,” said Felicha Young, a 49-year-old mother of two who said she grew up in the Orchard Park projects and has been living in her Ruggles Street apartment for 16 years. “This is where my roots are.”
Young said she’s been looking, but can’t find a two-bedroom apartment cheaper than $1,643,the cap for her federal housing assistancevoucher.
A Boston Housing Court judge Thursday allowed Young until the end of February to move or reach an agreement with the building’s owner, according to Deena Zakim, an attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services who is working with Young.
The building is listed among addresses managed by Advanced Property Management, which has a headquarters in Quincy and an office in Hyde Park. The company did not return a request for comment.
Steve Meacham, organizing coordinator for City Life/Vida Urbana, said the group hoped to gather politicians and organizations to the Roxbury neighborhood as a show of solidarity.
“We think there should be a balance between owners who are investors – a balance between their effort to make a profit and people’s need for affordable, safe and secure housing,” Meacham said.
Update: Advanced Property Management’s property manager Maria Benzan has responded to Metro. In an emailed statement, she said when APM decided to renovate the Ruggles Street building’s apartments in May, the company moved three tenants at its own cost, one found a place to live on their own and the remaining five signed an agreement to move and accepted a cash settlement. She said APM ” worked diligently to develop generous options for the tenants and ensure as smooth of a transition as possible during the relocation process,” and that tenants ” were provided ample time to relocate, as much assistance from our company as possible and significant financial incentives.”