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East Village Rent-Stabilized Tenant Refuses To Leave

Every Apartment In Building Is Being Renovated Except Rory Denis'
(file / credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An East Village man has refused to leave his rent-stabilized apartment, despite efforts to get him to leave as the building is renovated.

As 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported, the five-story building on East 6th Street between First and Second avenues has been completely gutted except for one apartment. With construction debris and sawdust all around him, Rory Denis, 64, said it is hell.

But he is not leaving.

Denis said he has been in the rent-stabilized apartment since 1979, and is afraid to leave it.

“I have nowhere to go. I’d literally be homeless if I did,” he said. “This is my home, and I have memories here.”

Contractor Esteban Vazquez said Dennis has made his firm’s job impossible.

“He insists on being here,” he said. “I feel sad. We even accommodated him of telling him, ‘Listen, I’m going to put you in a different apartment until you renovate and come back,’” he said.

But Denis said he cannot move out and come back to accommodate the work either.

“I just can’t,” he said.

Denis said at one point, his power and water were shut off. But he said he went to court and the owner had to turn them back on.

The contractor said the landlord for the building could get $2,500 per month for each unit, once the renovation is complete.

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