As we once put it, we generally think of rent stabilized apartments as the dominion of the politically-connected, the corrupt, the elderly, and the damn lucky, no good relatives of those elderly. And board members at a Prospect Park co-op building claim that they have one such no good relative on their hands: the co-op board is suing Brenda Williams, claiming she pretended her dead aunt was still alive for three years to continue paying her $287.55 a month rent and live in her rent stabilized apartment.

Williams, 55, claimed “her aunt was paranoid and senile and if we knocked on the door, she would have a heart attack,” said the co-op board’s president, Diana Hansen-Young. The aunt, Debbie Vaughn, moved into the building in 1959 (her last rent increase was in 1985). She died in April 2007 at the age of 91, but the board claims Williams continued making her rent payments and made up excuses why no one could see her aunt.

Before Vaughan’s death, Williams told building management she lived with her aunt and helped out by “cooking for her, bathing her, and taking her to doctors, supermarkets, church and senior-citizen centers,” the suit charges. But co-op attorney Peter Sanders said Williams lived down the block with a boyfriend until her aunt died: “She moved into the apartment after her aunt died,” Sanders said. “She would pay the rent by money order with her aunt’s name years after her aunt died.”

Williams, a city Department of Education school-improvement specialist for 25 years, claims that she has been sharing the apartment with her aunt since 1985 and had been paying the bills the whole time. She only continued making rent payments in the woman’s name after her death, she added, “because my name wasn’t on the lease.” Hansen-Young doesn't buy it: “She pretended like she’s alive,” Hansen-Young told the Post. “She gave updates on her health, like, ‘She’s feeling better today,’ or, ‘She has a touch of arthritis.’ ”