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August 28, 2007

"Owner Use," gentrification and Atlantic Yards

533Bergen-AYR.jpgOne block from Bruce Ratner's controversial Atlantic Yards project, the "owner use" clause has pitted rent-stabilized tenants against their new landlords. The Fifth Avenue Committee, South Brooklyn Legal Services and local politicians pitched in to help the tenants stay put at a rally this past Sunday.

One question on people's minds is whether or not the Atlantic Yards plan warps the neighborhood's real estate market — or was it already a fait accompli?

Village Voice Blog, Block Party Against Brooklyn Owner-Evictions

The answer for four families who live in rent-stabilized apartment at 533 Bergen Street would appear to be no as they are fighting eviction proceedings brought by the new owners of their building. The new owners of the four-story building—who purchased it for $866,000 in March of 2006—are seeking to evict the tenants under the owner-use clause of the state rent stabilization law, which says building owners can remove rent-stabilized tenants when they want a unit for themselves or a family member.

Atlantic Yards Report, The “owner-use” eviction controversy comes to Prospect Heights

As property values skyrocket in New York, the cheapest—though perhaps not the least risky—route to a substantial living space may be the use (or exploitation) of the “owner-use” clause in state rent regulations, which allows landlords of rent-stabilized buildings to take “one or more apartments” for personal use.

And that’s the issue on Bergen Street in Prospect Heights, where dozens of neighbors, along with some elected officials, on Sunday protested plans by the new owners of 533 Bergen to use five of eight apartments for their family, thus evicting rent-stabilized tenants from four railroad apartments, each averaging not much more than 800 square feet.

Posted by lumi at August 28, 2007 8:58 AM