"Perfect Storm" Of A Sob Story: Illegals In Immigrant-Owned Illegal Apartments Afraid To Claim Taxpayer Funds For Hurricane Ida Flooding
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Rebecca Chowdhury [Tweet her] has a sob story at DocumentedNY.com about illegal immigrants living in illegal apartments with illegal landlords—who are frequently legal immigrants.

As the person who forwarded it to me put it: “Immigrant homebuyers illegally renting to illegal immigrants. Not an American native in sight.”

Renters of Basement Apartments Fear Claiming Ida Aid

Immigrant New Yorkers who live in illegal basement apartments face additional challenges in recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, both emotionally and financially. 

One month ago, as the remnants of Hurricane Ida pounded New York City, Rahela and her husband were vigilantly eyeing the water level outside their apartment to ensure it wouldn’t seep inside. As her husband adjusted a drain outside, water began pouring into their basement apartment. It gathered within the locked boiler room, which they could not see, and within five minutes, they were in knee-deep water. She held her crying daughter and watched as the water destroyed everything they owned. 

“Before I could realize what was happening, we lost everything,” Rahela, who withheld her real name, said in Bangla. “I couldn’t do anything at that point — everything was wet.” 

As a citizen, Rahela qualifies for Federal Emergency Management Assistance (FEMA) to offset the costs of replacing her furniture, electronic, food and 4-year-old daughter’s toys, but the application requires proof of occupancy and her landlord told her not to apply, describing the process as a “hassle.” …

There are approximately 100,000 illegal basement apartments in New York City, which serve as de facto low-income housing. Many tenants of these apartments are low-wage immigrants who have few housing options and are subject to constant threat of immediate eviction if city inspectors find an illegal occupancy in a basement.

Landlords, many of whom are first-time immigrant homebuyers renting out the basement to cover their mortgage, face exorbitant costs if city inspectors issue violations or vacate orders. While Mayor de Blasio has waived these fines for the rest of the year, landlords continue to fear reprisals if their basement tenants seek financial assistance, because of concerns the city will resume enforcement in the future. 

For undocumented immigrants like Motiul, who only shared his first name, illegal basement apartments are an important lifeline. “I try to live in the cheapest place possible here, so I can send more money back to my family,” he said. Motiul pays $400 to share a basement apartment with a roommate whereas renting a room in a first-floor apartment would cost $700 to $800 in his neighborhood. [More]

So yes, these people are illegals living in illegal apartments holding illegal jobs whose legal immigrant landlords don't want them to claim taxpayer funds, what a shame. (The taxpayer is the only American native in sight, and the only one who won't get any sympathy from outlets like DocumentedNY.com.)

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