An angry crew of grandmas has a message for billionaire Bruce Wasserstein: Give us a break!
Atria West, a long-term upper West Side care facility owned by Lazard Ltd., Wasserstein's investment fund, has socked its 144 elderly residents with rent hikes of 12% to 25%.
In response, a sneaker-clad foursome of seniors - representing numerous residents they say are too scared to come forward - recently tried to confront the ultrawealthy investment banker at his Rockefeller Center office.
"I hope when you're our age, you're not in our position," a furious Hilda Greenberg, 86, shouted to a guard from her wheelchair after he refused to let them up to Wasserstein's 62nd-floor office.
In a letter from the residents' board they tried to hand-deliver to Wasserstein, the women noted the stark disparity between his wealth and their fixed incomes.
"While residents at Atria struggle to manage rate increases ... the compensation packages for those at Lazard are in the millions."
"I told my daughter that I hope I don't live too long," said Greenberg, who has seven great-grandchildren. "I don't know what I will do."
Care-home grannies blast billionaire whose firm put their rents through roof
Peering through heavy, dark-rimmed glasses, [Hilda] Weissberg said she negotiated a monthly rent of $3,000 for her studio apartment before moving in last January. In six months, it has shot up to nearly $6,000.
She says her broker told her she was running out of stocks and bonds because she had been cashing them in to pay rent, Weissberg said.