EAST LIBERTY (KDKA) – Hundreds of tenants who received unexpected eviction notices will get stay in their homes – for now.
Following a meeting between the tenants and Mayor Bill Peduto, the landlord is rescinding the notices.
People living at the Penn Plaza Apartments in East Liberty won’t have to worry about finding a new place to live for at least two more months.
The owner of the property is agreeing to put a 60-day stay on issuing any more notices.
Last week, Penn Plaza management sent tenants a notice saying they had 90 days to move out.
About 500 people live in the 300 units.
“The majority are older people – 62 and a above – and people that can’t get around and those are the people that were scared,” Gregory Broxtom, a tenant, said.
“Where am I going to go? Because prices are now market rate and very few units are designated for low-income,” Lillian Grate said.
Dozens of tenants met with city leaders at the East Liberty Lutheran Church Saturday morning to try and round up support and help.
The developer wants to renovate the complex to make it a combination of apartments and retail space.
Right now, no plan has been submitted to the city.
Councilman Ricky Burgess said any proposal should take the community into consideration.
“You want to make sure when they build the new building, a component, a percentage of it has affordable housing so some of the people who leave the building will be able to come back,” Burgess said.
Peduto admitted the owner has a right to tear down the property, but he said they’ll also need to work with government leaders on a plan.
“It makes no sense for them to decide to tear the buildings down and then expect to get the type of support that they’ll need to redevelop this property,” Peduto said.
City leaders are asking tenants to form a committee to negotiate in future meetings with the city and apartment management.