New York city council, attorney general investigating Kushner company's false document submissions
Fresh off the latest revelations of the Kushner family's real estate company being, ya know, crooked, the New York City Council and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman are both looking into that crookedness.
According to documents obtained by the tenant watchdog group Housing Rights Initiative, at least 80 false applications were filed for construction permits in 34 buildings during that time. They stated that the buildings had no rent-regulated tenants when, in fact, they included 300 rent-regulated units, AP reported. The result was less city supervision at sites. That left tenants vulnerable to being harassed to get out or left to endure the constant disruption of construction as the Kushners sought to hike rents or sell buildings.
In other words, the Kushners were hamstrung by the presence of rent-controlled tenants on their properties and so simply lied about their presence when filling out city paperwork. Regularly. Like clockwork, apparently. That allowed them to upgrade the properties into higher-rent versions; rent-controlled tenants could not be forced to move, but their lives could be made miserable as the entire building was remodeled around them. It is a strategy common among corrupt slumlords, and just coincidentally, apparently, stumbled into by Jared Kushner. (As a side note, Jared has not divested from his company to work in the White House, because nothing matters anymore, and has been under increasing federal scrutiny for potentially using his administration power to shore up his own business interests.)
City Council member Ritchie Torres announced an investigation into the practice by the Kushner business and other landlords on Monday. He called the Kushner strategy a “weaponization of construction” to force tenants out for higher-paying residents and “deregulate affordable housing units out of existence.”
One of the lessons of the Trump administration seems to be that all rich New York real estate tycoons are, in fact, monsters. We are told that Trump can't help but lie at every opportunity because that's what New York real estate holders do; we are told that the man is both boorish and crooked because well golly, New York real estate guy. Jared could have lived a very pleasant under-the-radar life of being quietly crooked, but no. No, he had to be inflicted on the rest of us, and that may turn out to be his downfall. It turns out that just because New York real estate guys consider themselves above ethics and laws, it does not actually turn out that way when you press the point.
In private, maybe. But not once the front pages get a taste of you.