According to AP News, the Kushner family real estate company has been accused by a New York City councilman of allowing many of its buildings to avoid safety inspections, which puts the building tenants in danger.
New York Oversight Committee Chair Ritchie Torres said that his investigation found that the real estate firm, formerly run by Jared Kushner, is renting apartments to hundreds of people in nine buildings that have expired certificates of occupancy. More, the company has been trying to push out low-paying tenants, and it does not want the scrutiny that will come with the inspections needed to renew the certificates.
“The goal here is a concerted campaign to evade scrutiny,” said Torres. “The company is engaged in what I call the weaponization of construction- the use of construction as a weapon for harassing tenants out of their apartments.”
Yet, one city regulator called the expired certificates “paperwork lapses” and called Torres’s findings “pure grandstanding.”
Our “top priority is safety — and indeed, we have inspected all these buildings or renovated units and deemed them safe to occupy,” said Buildings Department spokesman Andrew Rudansky.
The company said that the issues with the certificates stem from the previous owners. The certificates for two of the nine buildings expired during Jared Kushner’s tenure as CEO.
“Similar to many other landlords, we inherited from prior owners certificates of occupancy with various issues,” the company said in an email. “Kushner will continue the long and detailed process to work with our consultants and the Department of Buildings to correct every issue outstanding.”