According to a new report by by the Associated Press, the the family of White House adviser and President Donald Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner is being accused of driving tenants out of a rent-stabilized building so the family can convert the units into pricey condos.
The report states that the residents of the Austin Nichols House in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood claim the Kushner Co. is doing construction almost around the clock, making the building unlivable and creating dust and rat problems.
According to interviews with dozens of tenants, construction begins early in the mornings and lasts well after dark, with workers entering units without permission.
Some tenants explained that they have seen rent increases of $500 or more since the family purchased the building in 2015 with the intent of converting the units into condos that will sell in the neighborhood of $1.2 million. According to data compiled by AP, turnover in the Kushner building exceeds similar buildings, with about 75 percent of the building's apartments changing hands or sold as high-end residences since the purchase.
Tenants who have been forced out are preparing to file a lawsuit on Monday, alleging they were harassed into moving and claiming their health was affected by dust created due to the continuous construction.
In a statement a representative from the Kushner Co. said, "Tremendous care was taken to prevent dust and inconvenience to tenants," and admitted they are aware of the complaints and have been dealing with them.