Today’s news:

Baysider gets legal help in fight to keep his home

An elderly Bayside man fighting eviction from his apartment on 201st Street said last week he has obtained legal representation in his battle to keep the modest home he has lived in for 20 years.

Henry Mennecke, a wheelchair-bound retiree who has lived in a basement apartment across the street from Ozanam Hall in Bayside was able get help from JASA Legal Services for the Elderly in Rego Park.

Mennecke has been fighting with the new landlord of his 201st Street apartment complex, who tried to evict him in June because he was living in an illegal apartment. A lawyer for new owner Terry Triades also said there was no record of Mennecke paying rent on the three-room apartment.

A longtime Queens resident, Mennecke said he had no idea the apartment was illegal. The 87-year-old father of two also has numerous rent receipts for the roughly $200-a-month apartment.

Since he had a stroke more than a year ago, Mennecke has been confined to a wheelchair and spends most nice days sitting outside his apartment building reading the newspaper and saying hello to neighbors and passersby.

The three-room apartment includes a small kitchen, bathroom and two other large rooms Mennecke keeps immaculately neat.

A city Buildings Department inspector came to the basement apartment July 30, Mennecke said, and declared the dwelling illegal.

But a call to JASA Legal Services for the Elderly gained Mennecke some time, a spokeswoman for the organization said.

“We’re on top of it,” said the spokeswoman, who declined to give her name.

The case will most likely be adjourned to give the group a chance to research Mennecke’s situation.

A relieved Mennecke, who grew up in Brooklyn and lived in Douglaston and Hollis before moving to the Bayside apartment with his wife Vera 20 years ago, said last week “everything seems to be going the right way.”

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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