Silvershore accused of trying to force out Section 8 tenants by failing to make repairs

Advocates say investment firm's policy might be deliberate attempt to boot poorer tenants
May 16, 2016 10:14AM

UPDATED: May 16, 12:15 p.m.: Silvershore Properties are one of a group of landlords being accused of abusing Section 8 regulations to force tenants to move out of potentially lucrative buildings.

Residents of one of the company’s rental buildings, at 1071 Cypress Avenue in Ridgewood, many of whom take advantage of the Section 8 housing voucher program, accused the landlord of failing to make critical repairs and then not responding to the calls.

Advocates say Silvershore’s policy might be a deliberate attempt to take advantage of a Section 8 rule that requires tenants to leave apartments that fail to pass maintenance inspections. While the rule is normally designed to protect tenants, advocates say it allows landlords who buy buildings in up-and-coming neighborhoods a way to move out their less profitable residents, WNYC reported.

“It’s kind of like a backdoor way to remove Section 8 tenants and really to lose units of affordable housing,” Kenny Minaya, the tenant’s’ attorney, told the paper.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Silvershore said the company didn’t receive documentation about Section 8 tenants at the time of purchase, wasn’t notified of Section 8 inspections, and is cooperating fully with the Section 8 tenants’ attorneys.

“Silvershore has never had any expectation of being able to evict tenants receiving Section 8 vouchers for non-payment and the accusations are completely false. Since being notified, six apartments of the eight that failed inspection have been completed.”

Back in March, Silvershore, led by Jason Silverstein and David Shorenstein, was accused by Williamsburg residents of circulating a deceptive letter that urged residents to sell, claiming, contrary to the data, that Brooklyn home prices were rapidly falling.

The company paid $10.6 million for the 33,500-square-foot Ridgewood property last year. [WNYC]Ariel Stulberg

A statement from Silvershore was appended.