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World War II Veteran Says He May Lose Queens Apartment To City’s Downsizing Plan

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91-year-old Ralph Calinda with his grandson. (credit: Glenn Schuck/1010 WINS)

91-year-old Ralph Calinda with his grandson. (credit: Glenn Schuck/1010 WINS)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A World War II veteran may lose the apartment he’s lived in for the past six decades because of the city’s downsizing plan.

Ralph Calinda, 91, has lived in the three bedroom apartment at the Pomonok Houses in Flushing, where he raised seven kids, for 61 years.

His children have long since moved out and his wife has passed away.

Now, the New York City Housing Authority wants him out as part of their downsizing program, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported. However, Calinda said he wont’ go.

“I feel terrible because I’ve been here all my life, and all my friends are here,” Calinda told Schuck. “My family is too far away to help me, I got them in Seattle, upstate, Albany.”

NYCHA’s downsizing plan places elderly residents who no longer need large apartments into smaller units in order to accommodate families on its waiting list.

Calinda said he was offered an apartment in a different part of the Pomonok Houses, but it has a bullet hole in the window.

“Terrible shape, it was shot up on the outside,” Calinda said. “If they fixed this one up I would not take it. They told me if I don’t take it they can take me to court.”

Calinda said he’s fought tougher battles and is not giving up his home.

Calinda, who now walks with a cane and suffers from high blood pressure, diabetes and poor hearing, said any potential move can be very traumatic.

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