A member of the 2904 Tenant Council recently revealed the extent of a mouse infestation at Berrada-owned 2904 West Wisconsin Ave. One tenant council member has documented an atrocious mouse problem in their unit, a seemingly unending wave of invading mice.
Formerly owned by one of the most reprehensible slumlords in Milwaukee history James Crosbie, 2904 was sold to Youssef Berrada of Berrada Properties Management by Crosbie early in 2023. Under Crosbie’s stewardship, labeling this building a slum tenement does not do the barbarity of the situation justice. Crosbie put poor and vulnerable tenants through straight hell, as documented in articles in Journal Sentinel and other local news media. Tenants lived in conditions not fit for even animals. All the while, city, county, and state governments did nothing to end his reign of terror instead caring more about private property rights than human rights.
Tenants were assured that things would “improve” under Berrada’s ownership, but that has not been the case. There have been topical/superficial changes with doors, window sills, and the roof (the building lacked a functional roof under Crosbie), but the remaining 2904 TC members still deal with core problems. Issues with water, leaks, infestations, heating, and the securing of the building have remained. As seems their modus operandi, Beradda picks up buildings from small-time slumlords and does cosmetic “renovations,” which allows the company to claim that they improve buildings. And city politicians and regulatory agencies like the Department of Neighborhood Services are all too willing to accept this premise as it is expedient to them.
All human beings deserve quality housing that allows respite from the outside world as well as gives them a base for their self-actualization– the reaching of their potential as human beings. Tenants should not only be able to live in their homes, they should be able to enjoy their homes. This only happens when housing is liberated from capitalism and landlordism and the concept of “rent” is abolished. The exploitation of working-class tenants and the extra-exploitation of poor tenants is a direct effect of capitalism that grants a privileged few (the capitalist-landlord class) the “right” to turn people’s homes into places of profit meant to enrich them monetarily instead of replenishing the people who live there.
MATU and the 2904 TC demand dignified housing. And will fight for it.
2904 Tenant Council member films the extent of the mouse problem within her unit.