Wednesday, January 4, 2012

This is how 3/4 houses work

From the Daily News:

An operator of transitional housing facilities for former addicts, ex-convicts and the homeless is harassing tenants of a Bedford-Stuyvesant building despite a court order, tenants charge.

Yury Baumblit’s tactics over the past month have included threats of eviction to residents of 85 Kingston Ave. and tampering with the boiler so the heat was off for nearly a week at Christmas, tenants said.

But the handful of remaining tenants are anxious — especially since some saw Baumblit send an employee to the basement one morning before Christmas and discovered soon afterwards the thermostat for the boiler had been ripped off the wall.

Their complaints are the latest volley in a legal battle with Baumblit, a defendant in a class-action suit in Brooklyn state supreme court.

He and his companies’ alleged mistreatment of tenants at nine three-quarter houses in Brooklyn — including 85 Kingston — and one in Queens, are the focus of the case.

Three-quarter houses proliferate in Central Brooklyn nabes including Bed-Stuy, Brownsville and East New York. Unlike halfway houses, to which their name refers, three-quarter houses do not have trained counseling staff or support services on-site.

Operators typically put dozens of bunk beds in single- and two-family homes and receive tenants’ $215-per-month city Human Resources Administration housing vouchers as rent. Occupants are required to attend off-site substance-abuse programs — whether or not they’re recovering addicts.

The Kingston Ave. building was an eight-unit apartment building before Baumblit leased it from its owner three years ago and turned it into an all-men’s three-quarter house.

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