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East Harlem Housing Advocates Want to Exorcise Rental Ghosts

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It's Halloween, so let's get our first ghost building reference of the day out of the way early, shall we? The Times heads to East Harlem for a check on the neighborhoods many empty walk-ups, where boarded-up windows prove that not all neighborhoods are experiencing the average Manhattan rental vacancy rate of 1 percent. In fact, many landlords are choosing to keep their buildings empty, apart from the ground-floor commercial spaces. They've got a few possible reasons for doing so: they're holding off on doing repairs until they know the apartments will be able to get higher rents, or they might be keeping buildings vacant in case developers come along to purchase the property.
But local housing advocates are none too happy about the vacancies, so they're holding a march today to highlight some of the buildings in question?one local architect has found 40 just in the vicinity of his office on 112th Street. These advocates would like more of the properties turned into low- and moderate-income housing. We hope this march will include costumes.
· East Harlem Landlords Keep Apartments Sealed Up [NYT]