FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 28, 2022
Assefash Makonnen | firstname.lastname@example.org | (646) 629-7131
AFRICAN COMMUNITIES TOGETHER COMMENDS WARNER & KAINE FOR CONDEMNING CIM GROUP’S ACTIONS AT SOUTHERN TOWERS AND CALLING FOR CHANGE
WASHINGTON, D.C. Yesterday morning, Senator Mark Warner and Senator Tim Kaine issued a press statement announcing a letter sent to CIM Group, the corporate landlord that owns Southern Towers, condemning their ongoing predatory practices against tenants. This comes the same day that advocates from African Communities Together (ACT) chartered a truck to circle Alexandria with messages calling for “safe, affordable, and dignified housing” for Southern Towers tenants.
In light of the nationwide affordable housing crisis, the Senators’ letter expresses deep concern at tenants’ reports of deteriorating conditions, unfair pricing practices, and deficient eviction notices, among other things.
“We are entirely grateful to Senators Warner and Kaine for speaking out in solidarity with the tenants of Southern Towers. I am hopeful this is just the beginning of ongoing federal involvement to make sure CIM knows they can no longer act with impunity and use taxpayer money to finance displacement.” - Sosseh Prom, Housing Justice Director, African Communities Together
Southern Towers is a multi-building apartment complex in Alexandria,VA, and has been known for generations as one of the most affordable complexes in the city and a safe haven for immigrant families. With financial backing from Freddie Mac and investments from pension fund investors, CIM acquired the property in August 2020, and has engaged in predatory practices that have resulted in the displacement of community members who have resided in the area for years.
Tenants of Southern Towers and advocates from ACT, have been calling on CIM to address these concerns since the company purchased the property, but have yet to see significant action.
Late last year, ACT filed a complaint (and addendum) with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Freddie Mac about CIM’s unaffordable rent increases and predatory practices, including improper eviction notices, and has since been advocating to get tenant demands met.
African Communities Together (ACT) is a national nonprofit dedicated towards improving the lives of African immigrants in the United States, and empowers African immigrants to integrate socially, advance economically and engage civically.