ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As the housing crisis is growing in the Capital Region, residents at an Albany apartment complex were given notice to vacate the property. Many residents at the former Bleecker Terrace apartments received non-renewal letters giving them 90 days to move out.
“Knocked on my door early in the morning. And said, ‘Are you Miss Hazl? I said yes. He gave me a letter, just like that,” said resident Elvin Hazl.
“I was scared. Very scared,” said a resident. “Where am I gonna go?”
The notice came as a shock to tenants who say they’ve paid rent on time for years. They said that the notice causes them many hardships.
“I gotta find someone to help me move and help me pack—all kinds of stuff I have to do now, to move,” Hazl said. “I can’t do all that in three months.”
The property was recently sold and is now called Capitol Crossings. NEWS10 reporter James De La Fuente tried several ways to contact the new management company for a better understanding about how and why these residents were being vacated and was unable to reach them.
NEWS10 also reached out to a local attorney Leslie Silva, a partner at Tully Rinckey, who said that the owners are within their rights and are following the rules. “A 90-day notice would be a legitimate eviction notice that they were seeking to terminate their tenancy, and then take over occupation of their premises,” she said.
While it may be legal, this impacts lower income families as rents continue to rise and homeless shelters fill up in the Capital Region, according to Canyon Ryan, Executive Director at United Tenants of Albany Inc. “People are going to be facing homelessness. There’s a lot of concern already about the mission expansion. There are shelter residents that have lived there long term because there’s no affordable housing, and they’re at capacity,” he said.
Ryan said that lawmakers can do more. “The Assembly needs to pass Good Cause eviction, which they had the opportunity to do. The Assembly needs to pass the Housing Access Voucher program, and they need to pass the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act,” he said. “Albany Common Council needs to pass rent stabilization, that they passed a resolution for in 2019 but have not conducted a vacancy study.”