The permits, uncovered by the Associated Press, falsely stated that there were no rent-controlled units in their buildings in order to expedite construction approval. Housing advocates accused the Kushner Companies of using their construction to drive out rent-controlled tenants and then lease out their units at a higher price.
Rent-controlled tenants said that they believed that the construction was an effort to remove them.
“All of a sudden, there was drilling, drilling. … You heard the drilling in the middle of night,” Mary Ann Siwek told the AP. “There were rats coming in from the abandoned building next door. The hallways were always filled with lumber and sawdust and plaster.”
More than 80 false forms were discovered in a period from 2013 to 2016, when the company was run by Jared Kushner, now a White House senior advisor.
Kushner Companies said in a statement that it outsources its paperwork to third parties, and if mistakes are discovered, “corrective action is taken immediately.”