Instead of boarding up an unoccupied luxury condo in Crown Heights and letting it fall into disrepair, the owner has done the unthinkable: arranged to let homeless people live there. The new apartments, which were originally priced up to $350,000, seem pretty nice; one resident who moved in with his wife and two young daughters tells the Daily News, "When I first saw it, I was like, 'Damn, everything is brand new.' It has marble counters and marble floors in the bathrooms, too. I like the big kitchen. That's my favorite." Another new resident, an out-of-work truck driver from Miami who's living with his teenage son, crows, "The closet in the main room is so big you could put a twin bed in there." Lucky homeless!

Of course, some neighbors who go to work every day to pay obscene rent on their depressing dumps are livid; window salesman Desmond John gripes, "I'm a hardworking taxpayer, and I don't think homeless people should be living better than me. They said it's not for rent. It's a shelter. I was shocked." But developer Avi Shriki just had to go and interfere with the natural process of urban blight; he says that "when the market went south," he jumped at the chance to sign a 10-year contract with the Bushwick Economic Development Corp to turn the 67-unit building on East New York Ave into a shelter.

The city is paying about $2,700 a month for each apartment, which also covers social services like job counseling. Shriki says, "At least we still own the building and we are paying our mortgage, so that's good. The outcome is not as bad as some people I know who had to surrender the whole building to the bank." And as for the neighbors who now envy the homeless, one 18-year-old condo resident called "Boss" had this to say: "Just because a person fell out doesn't mean they don't deserve a place to stay." And it doesn't mean they don't deserve a master bedroom that extends into a ballroom, either!