Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Our building & neighbor in West Side Spirit report

West Side Spirit

An Apartment as a Lifeline

By Megan Finnegan


Nery Cruz has lived in her apartment on 97th Street for 31 years, and she has never been more fearful for her future.

Cruz, 60, shares her two-bedroom apartment with her daughter, a teacher with an Ivy League education and a master’s degree who can’t find work. Cruz works full time as a social worker at a hospital. She just renewed her lease again, for $679 a month.

While the price might seem like a steal, it’s all that Cruz says she can afford, and she’s terrified of what will happen if rent-regulation laws aren’t renewed and strengthened this year.

“If the rent goes up, where are we going to live? We’re going to end up in shelters,” said Cruz. She said that rents on some neighbors’ apartments, after they have been vacated, have been jacked up to the $3000 range, forever pushing them out of rent regulation.

Cruz fears that her landlord wants her to leave in order do the same thing to her apartment.


See also "Rents Through the Roof,"