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Y.M.C.A. in Chelsea Sheds Its Tenants

Posted by Anna on July 17, 1999 at 10:04:15:

NYTimes article today: well-written, worth the read for general info re SRO, Chelsea, non-profit corps.

Please note: this URL works today only: it will turn into a pumpkin at midnight!



Y.M.C.A. says the decision to remove
McBurney's tenants is actually part of a longtime shift
by the organization to phase out residences. It is also
part of a commitment made by the organization's New
York branches in 1990 to emphasize serving children
and families.

Tenant advocates say the situation at McBurney is
emblematic of a larger trend on the part of nonprofit
organizations like the Y.M.C.A., the Roman Catholic
Church and universities to eliminate traditional
single-room-occupancy housing in Manhattan, now that
those properties have become much more valuable.

Ms. Gavin
said in a statement: "I have spoken with Senator Duane
this afternoon and have assured him that it is not our
intent to evict any long-term resident of the McBurney
Y.M.C.A. On the contrary, it is our intention to assist
them in locating alternative suitable housing."

Chelsea has been home to similar battles. In 1996,
some of the 28 tenants of Leo House Annex, a
century-old hotel, also on West 23d Street, resisted
eviction until the last three tenants finally left in 1998.

Indeed, some longtime Chelsea residents are already
exercised about the fate of the McBurney 34. "It is just
pitiful," said Jane Wood, 92, who helped found the
Chelsea Coalition on Housing and has lived in the area
for 50 years. "Those men who live there -- this is their
only home and they're not going to be able to find

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