Brooklyn tenants say city is kicking them out of borough to distant neighborhoods

July 24, 2012 12:30PM

Not only are they getting evicted, but tenants of a five-story, rent-stabilized tenement building in Downtown Brooklyn also claim they’re being kicked out of the borough. The Brooklyn Paper reported that these residents, who live on the site of the proposed Willoughby Square Park, allege that the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development has retreated from its promise to provide them with nearby housing when their building is demolished to make room for the park.

HPD, which acquired the property at Albee Square between Willoughby and Fulton streets using eminent domain, did not return the Brooklyn Paper’s requests for comment.

A group of the building’s tenants say the department will relocate them to faraway neighborhoods in Manhattan and the Bronx, which they say will separate them from their families, make it difficult for them to keep jobs and to keep their kids in Brooklyn schools. They instead want to occupy units at the Ingersoll and Walt Whitman houses in Fort Greene, where homes are supposedly available. Other building tenants have already relocated to the Lower East Side with the city’s help.

This is not the first butting of heads between tenants and city officials over the Willoughby Square Park plan. As previously reported, other tenants living nearby said despite having a tight deadline to move out for park construction, the city did not provide them assistance in finding new homes. [Brooklyn Paper]