Six city council members bend rules to get cheaper housing: report

March 21, 2011 12:46PM

From left: Mathieu Eugene, Peter Koo, Darlene Mealy, Erik Dilan, Jumaane Williams and Fernando Cabrera

Six New York City council members bent city housing laws to the brink of their breaking point to obtain affordable homes, according to a Daily News investigative report.

Council members Jumaane Williams, Fernando Cabrera, Peter Koo and Matthieu Eugene allegedly received as much as $1,500 in tax breaks by reporting primary residences outside of their council district homes.

Council member Erik Dilan lives in a home reserved for families earning less than $114,000 even though he and his wife combined to earn $45,000 more than that, said the Daily News. Darlene Mealy moved into an apartment available for families making less than $15,200 in 1993, but within two years made a $14,000 down payment on a $90,000 home nearby. Williams was also found to have illegally converted the basement of his apartments.

When the council members were reached for comment, they denied any wrongdoings.

A separate Daily News investigation found that residents of the four Harlem apartment buildings co-owned by council woman Inez Dickens complained of vermin, collapsed ceilings, and inconsistent heat. The buildings’ owners owe the city more than $100,000 in unpaid property taxes. [NYDN]