Maimonides hospital faces backlash for mass eviction of longtime healthcare workers in Brooklyn
Maimonides Medical Center, a nonprofit hospital in Brooklyn, is under scrutiny for attempting to evict dozens of its current and former healthcare workers from employee residences in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The Legal Aid Society, which represents 13 of these healthcare workers and their families, has publicly criticized the hospital’s actions.
The hospital has initiated 37 eviction cases across seven buildings, consolidating 21 of them under the case name Maimonides Medical Center v. Edwardo Silva-Fierro. Additional eviction cases are expected as tenants receive notices instructing them to vacate their homes.
“Our clients and all tenants impacted by Maimonides’ mass eviction efforts have dedicated their lives to providing care for patients at Maimonides, the majority of whom are Black and Latinx low-income New Yorkers, and put their own lives at risk working on the frontlines of the pandemic” said Nell Hirschmann-Levy, supervising attorney in the Housing Justice Unit – Group Advocacy at The Legal Aid Society.
“Some of these tenants have lived in these units for more than 30 years, and face homelessness if displaced,” he said.
In 2018, Maimonides sold several buildings it had been renting to workers at subsidized rates for decades. Despite initially agreeing to remain the landlord under a “master lease,” the hospital has now cited the high costs of subsidization as the reason for the evictions.
Adding to the controversy, these healthcare workers are excluded from applying for 221 affordable housing units created under a regulatory agreement between the building’s new owner, Park Affordable L.P., and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).
The agreement stipulates that only tenants with subsidies and those in the shelter system can apply, excluding the Maimonides tenants.
“Maimonides Medical Center, as well as HPD, must work together to find a viable solution for the vulnerable tenants they are endangering.” Hirschmann-Levy added.
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