A New York affiliate of Habitat for Humanity paid developers millions of dollars in federal stimulus money for apartment buildings after low-income residents were pushed out of the properties, according to an investigation by ProPublica.
The news outlet interviewed former tenants and reviewed hundreds of pages of internal emails from the nonprofit, as well as public records. Four of nine apartment buildings purchased by Habitat-NYC were occupied shortly before the properties were bought, the article says. All of the buildings were located in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a poor neighborhood in Brooklyn.
The charity spent $43 million to buy the proprieties — a combination of private fundraising dollars and a $21 million grant that was part of President Obama’s federal stimulus package. Residents interviewed for the article said they were pressured to leave the buildings by owners shorty before sales negotiations began. The nonprofit said in a statement that “at no point were we aware that any tenant had been forcibly moved" out of the buildings.