While complaints such as these are not uncommon in Queens,this building is an anomaly in this booming rental market because the landlord is currently renting only 10 of the 32 units in the building at 47-60 39th Place. Residents say he has not leased to a new tenant in 19 years. As the tenants die or move out, the units remain vacant, they said.The tenants were recently organized by a local nonprofit called Woodside on the Move after tenant Nitza Gonzalez asked for help in January."Basically the tenants were suffering for many years," said the group's acting executive director, Lissette Mendez.She said she believed he was holding on to the building until it became empty in order to make it more attractive to buyers, a process known as warehousing."He never rented to anyone. And there are so many people looking for apartments," she said.A spokesman for Housing Preservation and Development said it was rare to see warehousing, but there was no city law against it.Gonzalez, 62, moved into a full building in 1971 with her husband, and there the couple raised their children. The children moved out and her husband died, leaving her alone in a one-bedroom where she pays $679 each month."I feel scared, let me tell you. I am scared because I am alone," she said. She and others in the building said youths have partied in some of the empty first-floor apartments
©2007 Community News Group
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