Louis District Workshop Spreads Knowledge Is Power Message


City Council Member Farah Louis (D-East Flatbush, Flatbush, Flatlands, Marine Park, Midwood) this week hosted a housing workshop for tenants at the Flatbush Gardens Community Center, 1404 Brooklyn Avenue in East Flatbush, to help members of the community learn about their rights as tenants.

The three-part workshop gave attendees in the area a vast amount of information and resources geared towards getting repairs completed without fear of retaliation from their landlords. Representatives from various organizations geared towards social services such as NHS Brooklyn, the Flatbush Development Corporation, the Flatbush Tenant Coalition, Housing Court and IMPACCT Brooklyn were also in attendance. 

“In the City of New York, we are in the midst of two crises – the lack of affordable housing and homelessness that have adversely affected communities of color. In Flatbush and East Flatbush, we have seen an increase of landlord harassment, deplorable living conditions, illegal evictions, and foreclosures that have displaced low-income families and immigrants who often do not know their rights,” Louis told tenants.

“Housing is the number one priority for the residents of District 45, hard-working individuals whose households are rent-burdened and struggling to avoid being priced out of the only community that they have ever known. As the new Council Member for the 45th district, I wanted to partner with local nonprofit organizations that have been on-the-ground working with tenants and small landlords to ensure fairness and housing stability for all,” she added.

City Councilwoman Farah Louis speaks about various issues in her district. Photo by Kimari Clarke.

Since taking office, Louis, who sits on the Council Committee on Housing and Buildings, sees her challenges as opportunities to think differently or take a more creative approach at overcoming them.

While taking on those challenges, Louis mentioned the passage of her very first piece of legislation within the two months of taking office, Resolution 978, which calls upon Congress to pass, and the President to sign, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019.

Louis said as a survivor of domestic violence, the resolution was her way to help raise awareness of gender-based violence that occurs throughout the city. She said she looks forward to introducing legislation that protects the rights of all New Yorkers by expanding access to supportive programs and services. 

Louis noted her council district is as diverse as the entire city, and one of the biggest threats to the quality of life that it faces is the fact that there is a food and health desert. This issue is one of two pieces of legislation that she wants to address the other being homelessness. Those two will be heard in an upcoming committee hearing and hopefully passed before the end of the year.  

Louis also expressed her excitement for a ribbon-cutting ceremony slated for June 2020 to celebrate the new community playground that is currently under construction at P.S. 152/315 which serves as one of the first projects that she has funded as the new council member.

Louis said she also plans to work with Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, Speaker Corey Johnson, and Mayor Bill de Blasio to allocate more resources that will mitigate the preventable health issues that are more prevalent in Central Brooklyn than anywhere else in the city – lead poisoning, black maternal and infant mortality.