Affordable housing residents in Tarrytown say they can't afford new rent increases

About 86 out of the 107 units in the building are Section 8 housing. The rest has been affordable housing for decades.

Jade Nash and Emily Young

Apr 1, 2024, 9:27 PM

Updated 14 days ago

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Residents at an affordable housing complex in Tarrytown say new owners are trying to push them out with rent increases they can't pay.
Audrey Thomas has lived at Asbury Terrace in Tarrytown for 43 years.
"It was one of the best things that happened to me because I had a low income and I was able to live here with my children," she explained.
About 86 out of the 107 units in the building are Section 8 housing. The rest has been affordable housing for decades.
But the building was sold for $15 million in 2020 and purchased by Mountco development.
"We were all pretty scared," said tenant David Cova, who's lived in the building for 45 years. "And now everything is coming to pass the reasons we were so scared back then."
They were scared it would affect their rent, despite receiving a letter from the complex in October 2021 ensuring them that the building had renewed contracts with the county to keep these units affordable for the next 30 years.
Residents received a letter in February informing them of a new rent increase.
"What they're asking for is between a 70%-82% increase," explained Cova.
"The current rent is $1,362 and its going up to $2352 a month, its a 72% increase," said Thomas, who cannot afford the increase.
"It's pretty obvious that they want to push us all out and make room for higher income people eventually," said Cova.
"We want to continue living in our home, this has been home to us for decades, my children were brought home here, I've had three generations of my family here," he added.
Several residents showed up at Monday's board meeting in Tarrytown to voice their concerns about the rent increase. At times, the meeting was heated as News 12 observed several tense exchanges between the residents and the board.
It forced Mayor Karen Brown to call for a brief recess to calm things down.
After Monday's meeting, David Cova, a resident at the apartment, told News 12 that he and his neighbors are now concerned about another issue in addition to the rent increase.
"The secondary issue appears to be, and I'm not an expert, but it appears to be, what seems like some improprieties that have surfaced regarding the sale of the building back in 2020," Cova said. "The village board tonight, for what seems to be the first time, admitted to everyone in the room that they knew about the sale of the building in 2019."
Meanwhile, Mayor Brown offered up the following response:
"It saddens me that some misinformation has made people in a vulnerable position so angry at us when all were trying to do is to help them," Brown said.
Village officials said another meeting is schedule to address the topic on April 8 at 6 p.m. at the senior center.


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