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Harlem Tenants Council, Inc.

Award Recipients - 2001

Nellie Hester Bailey, Co-Founder and Director

Nellie Hester Bailey is co-founder of Harlem Tenants Council (HTC), created to “provide relief for the poor and to combat community deterioration as a result of the accelerated pace of gentrification in Harlem.”  HTC’s goal is to build a broad-based bottom up tenants’ movement that can influence policies and programs that impact on low-income residents and neighborhood small businesses.  The group organizes educational forums, provides free legal counseling, builds ties with Harlem churches and businesses and organizes demonstrations to draw attention to the housing crisis.  HTC’s members are tenants living in public housing, city and privately owned properties and small business owners.  
Recognizing that the lack of affordable housing affects all low income New Yorkers, HTC works in coalition with progressive groups throughout the city to create a comprehensive urban housing agenda, build a unified front to demand socially responsible housing practices and hold elected officials accountable for their policies.  Together, they have protested compulsory work requirements for tenants living in public housing and demanded legal representation for all tenants in housing court.  In 2000, HTC challenged the plan to transfer city owned buildings to third parties and won transfer of buildings now slated for low-income tenants’ equity cooperatives.


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