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Basement Apartments Hit with Vacate Orders Despite Eviction Moratorium

New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development has evicted scores of tenants from basement apartments and other unauthorized dwellings, according to THE CITY. The agency has issued 95 vacate orders for illegal occupancy between March and October of this year.

Advocates say that the tenants living in these basement apartments—which are estimated at tens of thousands—represent some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, including many who are undocumented. They often reside without a lease as they live in fear of being discovered by authorities. For these tenants, seeking help for everything from dealing landlord harassment to repairs can lead to homelessness.

“Tenants have to choose between the harassment and the bad conditions or complaining and being thrown out by the city,” said Sateesh Nori, Director of our Queens Housing Office.