Monday, April 30, 2012
Illegal boarding house vacated
From the Times Ledger:
The city last weekend vacated an illegal South Jamaica boarding house, which is the target of a lawsuit, after a suspicious fire broke out in the cellar.
On Saturday evening, the FDNY put out a small fire in the basement of the three-quarter house, at 144-01 Lakewood Ave., which just two weeks ago was the subject of a TimesLedger Newspapers article about a class-action lawsuit against the building’s landlord, Yury Baumblit.
The lawsuit claims Baumblit operates his three-quarter houses as unlicensed rehabilitative and transitional housing programs that treat tenants as clients, violating their tenants’ rights.
There were about a dozen women living in bunk beds from the cellar up through the attic of the two-story house, according to tenants.
One of those tenants, Valerie Williamson, said Baumblit had illegally evicted her from the bunk she slept in on the building’s second floor more than two weeks ago for her participation in the lawsuit, and she claimed a victory when Baumblit admitted in Queens Housing Court he had illegally evicted her and agreed to let her return. The class-action lawsuit is still pending in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
On the night of the fire, there were about a dozen or so women in the South Jamaica building, all of whom escaped without injury, the Fire Department said.