STAY PUT! Beep says Ratner will protect the displaced

Beep says Ratner will protect the displaced

The Brooklyn Paper
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Borough President Marty Markowitz attempted this week to allay the fears of tenants who may be displaced by the proposed Atlantic Yards project.

During a residents-only meeting of the Dean Street Block Association June 2 at the Latin Evangelical Free Church, on Bergen Street at Sixth Avenue, Markowitz urged renters not to move from their apartments even if landlords threatened eviction or refused to renew leases, according to Robert Puca, a resident of the Newswalk condominium on Dean Street, who attended the meeting.

Markowitz said that developer Bruce Ratner had assured him that tenants in Ratner-owned buildings would retain their protections and their rents, Puca said.

“Forest City Ratner has promised me that when they purchase any building within the footprint, they will help these tenants find a comparable apartment as temporary housing,” Markowitz said after the meeting, in a statement e-mailed to The Brooklyn Papers.

“Forest City Ratner has committed to paying the difference in rent for temporary housing,” Markowitz said. “They have promised that they will move the tenants into comparable rent-stabilized apartments in Atlantic Yards at the same rents, and also pay for moving expenses.”

Puca said that at the meeting, which was closed to other elected officials and to reporters, tenants “complained about how no one has come to their help.”

Joseph Perez, who lives on Flatbush Avenue, said that when he questioned Markowitz on the matter, the borough president responded, “Well you know, you move out, and then you come back in.”

“I told him, ‘Put it in writing’,” Perez said.

On a tape recording of the meeting obtained by The Brooklyn Papers, Markowitz urged tenants to stay put.

“I understand the notices,” Markowitz said. “Don’t leave. Every tenant that is impacted, I want to make sure you let my staff know. I don’t want any tenant to leave. It’s the best advice, don’t leave.”

“I have spent my entire life organizing and fighting for tenants rights. Not one of you can challenge that, and nothing changed now,” he said. “You will be protected, you will be protected.”

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