best housing activist (local) (2008)

JAMES LEWIS

The HUD scandal du jour involves the so-called 203K program, under which sleazy middlemen bought rundown buildings and flipped them to nonprofits via HUD-guaranteed loans. Some of the nonprofits defaulted, the feds got the foreclosed buildings, and tenants were left high and dry. JAMES LEWIS organized the 203K tenants in 66 buildings into a group called Harlem Operation Take Back (hotb.org) to force the city to deal with the wreckage.

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