When there's a $150/month rent-controlled apartment around, you better believe there's a court fight about evicting the tenant. amNewYork has a story about 60-year-old Williamsburg resident Jeannie Kraph who has been trying to fight an eviction notice for the past six months.
Kraph has lived on North 9th Street for 50 years and was told she was being kicked out because of "debris, noxious odors and an ongoing roach infestation." But she believes that she's being evicted because the building owners want to charge $1,500 - the going rent in her building - to new tenants. The building's managing agent denies that there are ulterior motives, saying, "I have doubt in her ability to maintain and take care of herself. As long as it affects the quality of life of the people around her, whether she pays $5 or $15,000, you have to deal with it the same way."
The owners initially offered her $100,000 to relocate last fall, but after a number of court appearances and a court inspection of Kraph's apartment, the owners are offering to renovate the apartment but increase the rent to $400/month. Which makes you wonder if the managing agent's claims really hold water. Kraph is considering the offer, but let's face it, we're going to be hearing many of these stories.
And when 94-year-old Boerum Hill resident Dominick Diomede was evicted from his $500/month apartment, many New Yorkers wanted to help. He eventually found a place nearby, with help from community groups and city agencies.
Photograph of North 9th Street by Brunocerous on Flickr