Wrongful Eviction of Black Businesses
City of Boston Must Stop Developer Who Promised “No Displacement” From Evicting Minority-Owned Businesses From 1127 Harrison Avenue in Roxbury
Small businesses owned by immigrants of color and women have pleaded with the City of Boston and the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) to hold a developer to its promise of “no displacement” at 1127 Harrison Avenue in Nubian Square. In a stunning turn of events, the businesses are now facing eviction. Time is running out to stop this miscarriage of justice. The City and the BPDA must act now to stop the wrongful evictions.
Over a month ago, African Community Economic Development of New England (ACEDONE) and Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) formally called upon the City of Boston and BPDA to halt a proposed project in Roxbury due to egregious “bait and switch” tactics the developer, Boston Real Estate Collaborative (BREC), used to gain community support. Over the past month, without BPDA oversight, matters have escalated. Now, these small businesses have been served with eviction notices, demanding that they vacate immediately. Intervention by city officials is critical to avoid even greater injustice.
Delay in addressing the 1127 Harrison matter has already led to the displacement of at least 10 businesses due to fear. The continued complacency toward BREC’s egregious violation of trust has led to further harm for the community, including the customers served by the minority- and immigrant-owned businesses at 1127 Harrison.
ACEDONE has documented BREC’s false promises and deceitful acts surrounding 1127 Harrison Avenue, particularly its assurance that “no displacement” would happen to the small businesses that occupy the site. In addition to the promises made directly to business owners, BREC explicitly stated its promises of “no displacement” to the BPDA.
It is critical that the City of Boston and BPDA intervene to help keep the remaining small businesses in place. We urge City Hall and the City Council to stop the eviction and displacement of the remaining minority-owned small businesses at 1127 Harrison Avenue. We also urge Mayor Wu and the BPDA to halt the development proposal and to hold BREC accountable for its predatory business practices.