For Some Landlords, Real Money in the Homeless

Via: NY Times

By JOSEPH BERGER
Published: February 8, 2013

Willy Machan acknowledges he is a gadfly, someone who writes bristling letters to local officials to get conditions improved in his grim single-room-occupancy building. But he was surprised by what his landlord offered last July to persuade him to move out of the room he has lived in since 1984 and for which he pays $371 a month.

“If you are not happy, I will give you $25,000 cash,” he recalled the landlord’s representative telling him.

Though barely getting by on Social Security, Mr. Machan, a 68-year-old retiree, turned down the offer, saying he had nowhere else to go. But some of his neighbors in the building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan — where the 71 rent-paying residents share bathrooms and there is no kitchen — told others they accepted similar cash payouts with the excitement of lottery winners and quickly vacated.

The landlord, Alan Lapes, was clearing out these tenants to accommodate a group of people not often regarded as desirable: New York’s homeless.

The city’s Department of Homeless Services pays many times the amount the rooms would usually rent for — spending over $3,000 a month for each threadbare room without a bathroom or kitchen — because of an acute shortage in shelters for homeless men and women.

Read more: here

Man is not kind….
-Moose

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