Senior Tenant Locked out by AAFE Demands to Go Home [Updated]
A longtime resident of 141 Norfolk Street is going public against her landlord for literally changing the locks. Lichang Wang, a senior citizen, is demanding access to her apartment of ten years from said landlord, the Lower East Side nonprofit Asian Americans for Equality.
Wang and advocates will rally in front of 111 Divison Street this morning to garner more exposure for her plight.
Per the media blast:
Ms. Wang’s ex-husband recently moved out of the apartment and told Ms Wang to seek help at a shelter. Informed by the shelter that she could remain in the same apartment with government’s rental assistance, Ms Wang, a senior by herself, decided to stay. However, the landlord changed the apartment lock when she was inside and tricked her to get out, leaving all her belongings there. The landlord has since denied her access back to the apartment. This has caused huge distress and inconvenience to the tenant.
AAFE, despite its nonprofit status and “social service” image, is one of the biggest landlords in Chinatown with a bad reputation of evicting low-income families and senior tenants. It continues with its bad practice even during the pandemic, as with Ms. Wang.
Ms. Wang is demanding AAFE open the apartment door to let her live in her home and compensate for any loss and damage during this harrowing period.
AAFE responded, calling the accusations falsehoods:
“There is no truth to claims made today that a tenant at 141 Norfolk St., a building owned by AAFE, was locked out of her apartment. In April, the tenant of record in a 1-bedroom apartment at 141 Norfolk advised AAFE of his intention to vacate the unit and submitted a signed document testifying that no one else was living in the unit or had rights to live in the unit.
After he moved (in early July), the locks on this apartment were changed, which is standard practice. A short time later, Lichang Wang, who was previously unknown to us, came to our management office claiming to be a tenant in this unit. She was not listed on any of the income certification documents filed with the city or any other documents. Ms. Wang indicated she had been married to the former tenant of record a decade ago or more, but they had since divorced. According to the income certification forms and lease documents, the former tenant lived in the apartment with another woman.”