Shivani is empowering New Yorkers in her neighborhood. A Bronx native, Shivani now works as part of our Tenant Rights Coalition, helping her neighbors fight back against unscrupulous landlords. As a staff attorney, Shivani is putting her expertise to work to ensure that tenants across her borough have a voice in and out of the courtroom.
New York City is undergoing serious changes. As the forces of gentrification march through forgotten communities , entire neighborhoods are being transformed. Unfortunately, vulnerable communities are bearing the brunt of these new developments. These communities, like the ones that Shivani works with in the Bronx, “were forgotten about for a long time.” Now that landlords see that they can potentially cash in on rising demand, landlords in these communities often use illegal practices to squeeze long-time tenants out of rent stabilized apartments. Over time, landlords have targeted poor and powerless tenants by illegally raising rents, creating dangerous living conditions for tenants, and threatening them with eviction. For tenants in the South Bronx, where more than a quarter million people live in poverty, it is nearly impossible to fight back against a landlord. Thankfully, this is where Shivani comes in.
New Yorkers In the
South Bronx Live In Poverty
Shivani helps tenants organize to effectively take a stand against landlords and their illegal practices. She gives a voice to tenants that have historically struggled in silence. As Shivani explains, “we’re shifting the power dynamic.” Now with representation, these tenants can keep their landlords accountable. Shivani believes that her work sends a message to any landlord in the Bronx, and that message is clear: “we’re here. We’re watching. And we are willing to fight for our neighborhoods and communities.” Shivani’s work makes a tangible difference in the lives of these tenants. Not only is her representation keeping rent affordable, driving necessary repairs, and improving conditions in apartment buildings across the borough. Shivani and her colleagues are also working to make important institutional changes that will defend hardworking tenants across our city.
As a native of the Bronx, Shivani’s work has a special meaning to her. Sitting in her office, she is only a few blocks away from where she grew up. ”It’s a very personal fight for me.” Now, as her old neighborhood faces a new wave of gentrification, she is poised to defend the people who have called this area home for decades. But for Shivani, her work isn’t just about keeping people away. In fact, she’ll be the first to tell you “we’ll welcome new neighbors but it can’t be at the expense of the people who have been here.” In the end, Shivani and the hundreds of clients she works with just want things to be treated with some basic decency. As Shivani says, “there’s nothing wrong with progress, but progress should not mean completely changing what has already been built.” Her work promotes empowered, vibrant communities, where newcomers and old-timers are able to live side by side. By giving her clients the power to stand up for themselves, she stops them and entire communities from being pushed aside.
Want To Join The Fight?
With your help, Shivani and her colleagues can make equal justice a reality
for even more New Yorkers in need.