The New York City Housing Authority has served an eviction notice on a 100-year-old woman who has lived in the Lower East Side since 1964, claiming that she unlawfully resides in Italy and therefore shouldn't get to keep her $219/month apartment.
The Daily News reports that Concetta Passione, who turned 100 yesterday, keeps an "immaculate" home in the Rutgers Houses with her 73-year-old son, Sebastian. “I want to be here,” Passione says, her son acting as her interpreter because she only speaks Italian. “I will never get used to any place else. I’m the first one to come here and now they want to throw me out? It’s not right."
Acting on a tip, the Department of Investigation began investigating Passione and claims that from 2000 to 2009, Passione and her son lived in Italy, returning to New York once a year at Christmas, and that she currently lives in Italy and allows her son use of the aparrtment.
Through her lawyer, Passione denies this: “She did go to Italy often, but she did not live there. Because she traveled to Italy often, they got the idea that she wasn’t living in Rutgers Housing. Rather than confronting them directly, they started this investigation."
In 2011, NYCHA sent Passione termination papers, but didn't serve her with an eviction notice until last month. The Daily News' report treads lightly with respect to the veracity of the DOI's multiple-year investigation, and peppers its report with anecdotes like this:
A small gold crucifix hangs on the living room wall. At one point during an interview last week, Concetta kissed her finger tips and touched the cross.
Passione could be running a cockfighting parlor out of an illegal chop shop in her living room—she did the thing with her lips and the crucifix! C'mon, NYCHA.