Sherlivia is seeking justice for how she says she was treated in her home city of Brooklyn, NY. Right now, she and her husband and young daughter live in their car and in the adjacent park in Northwest DC. The people in the park look out for each other, she says, and have been very nice to them.
Sherlivia says she’s living with breast cancer, but her cause helps keep her mind off of it for now.
"I came DC to advocate for all of us who are victims of third-party transfer programs.
“It’s a tool the city uses to deem a property vacant, abandoned, or distressed. It’s a tax collecting tool that prevents you from selling your property if you owe a tax or a water bill to the city. In Brooklyn, they used it to shift ownership rights.
"Our representatives sold our property to developers and we lost it to default foreclosure. It’s an old law from when NYC had lots of abandoned properties.
"They’re using it now that they have properties worth millions of dollars, and now developers can go to court without you being there. When we went to fight for our rights, they put gag orders on us because the developers have the deeds now.
"We’ve petitioned the courts because hundreds of properties are being signed over without verifying that people are actually there.
"We were HDFC (a coop program that started in the 1970s that allowed tenants to purchase after so many years) tenants in the building where we lived and my mom was the signer on the deed.
"Shortly after we were denied our rights my parents died - I believe from the stress of this.
"Our agreement with the city was that we would maintain the property for 25 years at which time we would have full ownership. That date was April 2020.
"The city said because we owed them $125K in bills, they took our ownership. That’s slavery. They even took away the arrangements we had made with the city and representatives to pay back what we owed.
"I have watched my Jewish brothers and sisters use the TPT all these years, but they were able to pick who their third parties which allows them to evade taxes. Once they point to the person they want, it wipes their debt. In our case, they stripped it from us, and they chose. It’s not fair.
"Our goal in DC to tell the Department of Justice to send a special prosecutor to charge our elected officials and the developer as an organized crime (because some of them are in on it.)”