The MTA may be doing what landlords have been trying to do unsuccessfully: Kick old people out of their rent controlled apartments in order to make way for the Second Avenue Subway. The MTA needs space to build new buildings, ventilation shafts, and other places for subway sounds and smells to be let out. The Daily News talks to a number of seniors who say they are scared, with one of whom actually lost 40 pounds since first worrying about that. Really, 40 pounds? Go figure - it's the newest diet craze, "Scared About Finding Affordable Housing in NYC Diet."
An MTA spokesperson said, "Each case will be taken on an individual basis, and we will make every effort to accommodate everyone's needs, keeping in mind the public benefits for hundreds of thousands of our customers whose lives this project will make easier." At any rate, if the MTA evicts people from their homes, they need to help find them new apartments that are "comparable in size and cost" while admittiing it "may be difficult, if not impossible" to find comparable apartments. Since the MTA can't perform magic, they'll probably need to pay out the tenants, which seems par for the course, since the project will cost BILLIONS. But, really, there's nothing to tug on the heartstrings more than kicking senior citizens out of their apartments, except for kicking children and senior citizens with kittens and puppies out of their apartments.
The displacement may begin next year. The first phase of Second Avenue Subway construction begins this year and is scheduled to end in 2011. Yes, 2011.