"How could you throw old people out? I’m not going to be here that
many more years. Let me die in my home." -Adele Sarno, 85.
"Ms. Sarno is the embodiment of the soul of New York. She is part of our heritage as a city of immigrants. Yet she is facing eviction by her landlord, the Italian American Museum, because their development plans and the law support a quadrupling of her rent from $820 to $3500/month. Any plan to quadruple residential rent, as is being sought in Ms. Sarno’s case, is both onerous and exploitative. It is essentially a heavy financial penalty placed on a vulnerable citizen with a fixed income in order to both intimidate and then likely evict in the interest of commercial development. This may be legal but it is morally wrong and it is not the New York City we should want to live in." -Katherine D. LaGuardia, Fiorello H. LaGuardia Foundation
Ms. Sarno, who has lived all her life in Little Italy, is being evicted from her apartment after losing a fight to keep her $820-a-month rent from skyrocketing; her landlord is the Italian American Museum (an institution who is in the business of conservation).
Photographs by Sandi Bachmom and Lee Greenfeld