For 18 years, George and Elena and their son, Edward, have lived on a 34-foot, two-room houseboat docked in a slip at the World's Fair Marina in Flushing Bay.
But in 1999, the city reclaimed management of the marina, near La Guardia Airport, from a private company. In the last two years, George claims, it has refused to accept his payments for the slip and electricity, denied the family a key to the marina gate and locked the public bathrooms in winter.
The city filed a lawsuit on Sept. 10 in Queens Supreme Court that charges the family has flouted rules prohibiting "live-aboards" at the marina. It also accuses the family of dumping waste into the bay and asks for $7,800 in fees and utility charges.
The boat is without an engine and immobile, which the city claims is also against marina rules.
"It's discrimination," said George, citing houseboats at a city marina on the Hudson that have been allowed to stay.
Several of the 52 houseboats at the 79th Street Boat Basin, which has had a year-round community of residents for decades, are also immobile. After years of fighting with the city over whether the boat-basin residents should be allowed to live at that public marina, the city agreed to grandfather in 50 or so boats.
CITY ROCKS THE BOAT ON DOCK SQUATTERS