Notorious “three-quarter” landlord charged with illegal evictions

Yury Baumblit of Brighton Beach facing two counts punishable by up to a year in jail
August 10, 2015 04:35PM

Yury Baumblit, the notorious Brighton Beach landlord of cramped flophouses known as three-quarter homes, is facing criminal charges for illegally evicting tenants.

Prosecutors filed charges last week against Baumblit, who was the subject of an investigation by the New York Times into three-quarter housing earlier this year.

While the two counts against the landlord are misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail, housing advocates praised the unusually forceful prosecution of illegal evictions at three-quarter houses, the Times reported.

Also known as “sober” or “transitional” homes, three-quarter houses cater to poor people in treatment for substance abuse, homeless people looking to avoid shleters and the mentally ill with nowhere else to go. Tenants are frequently crammed into bedrooms at the unregulated properties, which are often infested with bugs and rodents.

In wake of publicity regarding three-quarter houses, the city formed an emergency task force to inspect the homes and relocated roughly 200 residents out of the properties, with most ending up in hotels.

Narco Freedom, one of the city’s largest operators of three-quarter homes, was on the verge of bankruptcy just last month. [NYT]Rey Mashayekhi