New York hospital under fire for evicting staff, retirees from housing

New York City-based Maimonides Medical Center is facing backlash after filing 50 eviction notices to tenants of its staff building, The New York Times reported April 8.

Six years ago, the independent hospital sold the apartment building, and seven other buildings, for more than $65 million to Iris Holdings. The hospital did not plan to sell the buildings when they were purchased, but altered course when its financial situation changed, Sam Miller, vice president of marketing and communications at Maimonides, told the Times. In recent years, the hospital has struggled financially, reporting more than $65 million in losses in 2022.

The hospital owns or oversees more than 500 units across four buildings it owns and the ones that were sold to Iris Holdings. Many of the tenants, a significant number of whom are hospital employees or retirees, continued to pay rent to the hospital, which would forward the payments to the new owner.

Recently, Maimonides filed eviction cases against more than 50 tenants. In response, residents formed a union and worked with nonprofit organizations to fight the cases, and a judge decided that 21 tenants would have until March 31 "to vacate with dignity."

Maimonides and Iris Holdings then met with the New York State attorney general, who called for a temporary stay on all evictions.

"After a productive meeting on March 27 convened by the attorney general's office, Maimonides decided last week not to take any further action before June 1 that would disrupt the lives of our tenants," a hospital spokesperson told Becker's. "This will provide significantly more time for an amicable agreement for tenants living in apartments owned by Iris Holdings to be worked out, and allow for productive discussions between Maimonides and tenants who live in buildings owned by the hospital. We are grateful to the attorney general for bringing us together, and hope that a path forward can be found that will help these tenants and allow Maimonides to focus its limited resources on delivering great healthcare to the city's most diverse patient population, including the highest percentage of Medicaid patients in Brooklyn."

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