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NYC launches investigation into Kushner Cos

NYC launches investigation into Kushner Cos

Kushner Companies reportedly filed more than 80 false work permit applications with the city, which is against the law, with the goal of driving out tenants with nonstop construction.

Housing Rights Initiative found the Kushner Cos. filed dozens of amended forms for the buildings mentioned in the documents, majority a year to two later. Housing Rights Initiative, a watchdog group, said the false documents made it easier for the Kushner Cos.to harass rent-regulated tenants so that it could push out low-paying tenants and replace them with higher paying ones.

When Jared Kushner was chief executive of Kushner Cos., his family's New York City-based real estate firm, the company "routinely filed false paperwork with the city declaring it had zero rent-regulated tenants in dozens of buildings it owned across the city when, in fact, it had hundreds", according to a report by the Associated Press.

Bloomberg reports that while Kushner divested some of his assets when he joined the White House, his stakes in three Astoria, Queens, properties that are the focus of the AP report were not among them. They stated that the buildings had no rent-regulated tenants when, in fact, they included 300 rent-regulated units, AP reported.

Current and former tenants of the Queens buildings tell the AP they dealt with extensive construction they believe was part of an effort to get them to move out.

The Kushner Cos. says it outsources the preparations of such documents and fixes any mistakes immediately.

"It's not an isolated incident, it's part of a systematic business model", Carr, the housing rights activist, said in November.

New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres, who chairs the Committee on Public Housing, said he'd launch an investigation into Kushner Cos.' illicit practices. Two years later, the company sold the complexes for almost double the price it paid to purchase them, the report said.

Here's what you need to know about Kushner's real estate record.

New York City's Department of Buildings did not comment in general about the false filings by the Kushner Cos., but said it disciplined a contractor who filed false documents while working on two of the Queens buildings, which are now under investigation by a tenant-harassment task force.

Though lying about rent-controlled units is an offense punishable by up to $25,000 in fines, developers who provide falsified information about tenants are often only asked by the city to amend the forms, sometimes more than a year later.

Exactly how much money the Kushner Cos. earned from the buildings mentioned in the documents is unclear.

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner's father, Charles Kushner, confirmed in a statement on Monday that his company met with Qatar's finance minister in 2017 but insisted that he turned down possible funding to avoid conflicts of interest. But he retained stakes in a number of properties, including Westminster Management, a subsidiary that oversees Kushner Cos.' residential holdings, from which he reportedly earned a tidy $1.6 million a year ago.

Romano is still in the building where he has lived for nine years, with his wife, four children and his guests from the construction days - the mice.

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