Monday, February 9, 2015

Step inside Jimmy McMillan's world for a moment



The saga of Jimmy McMillan's $872-a-month St. Mark's Place apartment continues.

After a 4-year legal battle, the "Rent is Too Damn High" party founder was set to be evicted last Thursday from his apartment of 38 years. (The landlord has claimed that McMillan's primary address is in Brooklyn.)

However, as the Post reports, McMillan won an 11th-hour reprieve to stay for at least another week while the matter continues to get sorted out.

Meanwhile, McMillan invited the Post into his apartment for a grand tour.

Per the rather wacky piece:

The Post got a first tour of the downtown pad, which features a sunken living room and exposed brick — and piles of clothes littering the floor.

They’re there for a reason, McMillan explained, in case he has to “get out in a hurry.”

Also from the article:

He owes more than $18,000 in rent, the landlord claims.

McMillan claims he tried to pay his rent, but Judge Laurie Lau refused to accept his payments and Lisco Holdings returned his checks.

McMillan insists there is a conflict of interest because lawyers from the landlord’s law firm sit on a committee to select Housing Court judges.

Previously

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think everyone who lives in the neighborhood could testify to the fact that this is his primary residence. I've seen him almost every day for the past couple years. He's always moving his car for alternate side parking.

nygrump said...

Maybe the problem is he rented another residential apt as an "office". if he had rented an office as an office and not a residential space in Brooklyn, the LL wouldn't be have any legs to stand on. The article creeps me out, that fact they are using his bank card data in relation to a civil dispute is evil. How did they even get that?

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry, but even a tree hugging, fair housing liberal dem like me who is against displacement of long-time residents has a hard time supporting a guy who complains about at $870 e. village rent, particularly when he owes the landlord $18k. c'mon, that means he hasn't paid rent in almost two years, how is that justified?

he's not making it any easier for people who have legitimate fair housing issues.

Anonymous said...

I see him and his car once in a while, certainly not every day.
Kick this pro-rent control jerk back to crooklyn.

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

I don't know much about this guy's situation, but when my neighbor got a primary residence challenge (it was bogus), he had to hire an attorney and spend a few $ thousand to win his case in court. Refusing to cash rent checks is another familiar tactic in our building.

These challenges are serious and in many cases are a form of harassment. It's really sad. I'm not sure this guy has a clue what he's doing.

Anonymous said...

"fact they are using his bank card data in relation to a civil dispute is evil." This is not "evil," but simply the way litigation goes -- your adversary gets all of your information. To quote My Cousin Vinny, "He has to, by law, you're entitled. It's called disclosure, you dickhead! He has to show you everything, otherwise it could be a mistrial."

Anonymous said...

The problem is that his son used to live there and when the heat was turned up he came back.

@nygrump

Because the civil law system wouldn't work without the power of discovery?

Anonymous said...

The Villager had a 2/5/15 article on this subject. Apparently he owes $18,359 and he is only offering to pay $11,348 now. Seems he does not have the full amount at this time? He is hoping Adult Protective Services will intervene before 2/11. He is on full disability due to ptsd. Whatever happens I hope he lands on his feet.

chris flash said...

It matters not whether he's renting 1 - 2 - or 100 apartments or offices, or warehouses, or factories or movie theaters. THIS is his primary residence, whether his son has lived there on + off or not.

AnonymASS 1:38: His checks were REFUSED by the Landlord in order to create a huge outstanding rent balance. Either you're clueless or you're a Real Estate troll. Or perhaps you're BOTH!!

Anonymous said...

Of course hes on disability. And has multiple apts and at least one car. Welcome to NYC home of the freeloaders. And hes entitled to all this right? Your tax dollars not at work. Howd he screw up the sweet setup he had? Unreal. Dont worry. Hell be just fine. He still has his car and his brooklyn apt and his disability cash. We should all have these problems. I might lose ONE of my apts. What a problem to have. And he is the good guy? How twisted and perverse is that? The whole thing us just pathetic.

john penley said...

He is a Vietnam COMBAT vet so for those who didn't serve their country I suggest you STFU about his PTSD. From working with Vets For Peace and Occupy Vets every god damn Vietnam Combat vet has PTSD and Agent Orange exposure so go to hell Anonymous you coward.

Anonymous said...

Yes give money to manitobas and other for profit businesses . Support apt hoarding scammers. Screw the. Bowery mission. And the nyu people are the problem? Look in the mirror

Dan Miron said...

How big is it?

john penley said...

Actualy I think the Catholic Worker is a better place to volunteer or donate to than the Bowery Mission but thanks for helping. Personally, I don't he is scamming and perhaps you would rather he becomes a client at Bowery Mission instead of keeping his apartment. I am sure the owners of the Real Estate company that is trying to get him out don't need the extra money and the reason there is a dramatic rise in the numbers of homeless people all over the city is because the wealthy real estate company owners who live in multi million dollar mansions outside the city are doing this to all the middle class and disabled vets and tenants whose buildings they buy all over the city.

Anonymous said...

Regarding his landlord refusing his checks for years, McMillan should have at least kept those refused rent funds In escrow. He would have a much stronger case that way, not to mention he'd be able to pay what he owes now.

Anonymous said...

Worried about him being homeless? He still has his disability payments and his brooklyn place right? Lets not be so extreme. Seems he has options. The people the bowery and catholic worker help dont have cars or disability checks or PLACES IN BROOKLYN. And do some research. 80-85 percent of people in the system are single moms who have multiple kids with multiple dads. And the single men are mostly parole or probation types who cant live in the projects due to commiting violent crimes. The rise has little to do with disabled vets or the middle class. Vets get priority housing. The rise is due to the woman in the daily news story with 12 kids. But she and her ilk who want free housing and welfare and food stamps never get mentioned. Why is that? Doesnt fit the narrative?

john penley said...

You obviously don't know how little the disability payments are. About 13 grand a year for most. And since the place in Brooklyn is an office I guess he can live in his car. FYI you do the research the majority of male homeless are Vets.

Anonymous said...

I live in Jimmy's building. I see him all the time and we chat while we fold our laundry in the basement. He lives here. After talking to him many times I can attest that he appears to have PTSD. My brother is a 100% mentally disabled Vietnam veteran and he and Jimmy act almost exactly alike. Only difference is that Jimmy does something with his time...he stands up for us! While his rent might not seem "too damn high" to people, his message is true! There are studios going for $2300 in our building! Many people with rent stabilized apartments fight for renters' rights all the time. They've been around long enough to watch rent stabilized buildings get turned over to crazy high rents. I'm sorry Jimmy's brain got messed up in the service but I'm glad it got jangled in just the right way to make him a fighter for the non-rich people of NYC! Thanks Jimmy! Rent is Too Damn High!

Anonymous said...

Where do you get the idea they are vets? I volunteer at the 31st breadline and holy apostles soup kitchen. Majority are non vet. And FYI the VA has a new housing program. The govt is getting these guys apts and vouchers. In NYC and LA the vets are getting housed. So come up with something else. And keep ignoring the daily news article. And 13 grand plus all the other benefits he gets isnt nothing. How does he afford an office and an apt and a car on 13 grand? Isnt he supposed to be disabled and unable to work? The more info that comes out the more its clear this is all ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Note to Anon @ 2/9, 1:38 PM

You wrote you have "a hard time supporting a guy who complains about at $870 e. village rent, particularly when he owes the landlord $18k."

As others have posted, it is possible his landlord was not cashing the rent and, yes, for his own protection he should have started an escrow account, or just a completely separate checking account (interest bearing!) that he used to try to pay the rent and just sat there when the checks weren't cashed. Still, all of us have lapses in planning now and then. He does have $11K+, which is more than a lot of people can come up with.

But, I'm posting to point out something else...we are so used to the absolutely insane cost of housing in this area (not just NYC proper, and certainly more than just the EV) that too many of us are ready to think that someone paying $870 a month is like getting something for free. Consider the following:

1) It is generally recommended everywhere else that one's housing budget be no more than 25-30% of your *net* income. This is not just rent, but also utilities. In NYC rentals, heat and hot water are usually included, I'm going to assume so for this particular apt. But, add $100 for ConEd. My electricty bill is $60(+/-) per month but I'm a conservation freak and most people in my building with similar sized apartments (3 'room' apt in a 'dumbell' tenement, 300(+/-) sq. ft.) are paying between $90 and $120 per month. That means $970 monthly.

2) $970 monthly on housing means $11,640 annually.

3) $11,640 annually on housing means for traditional good budgeting practice, a person needs to be netting $38,800.

4) A net income of $38,800 -- assuming a single person taking one deduction, doing best to plan for the future and fund one's 401K at 10% (although that's certainly not maxing out the current annual limit of $18,000), with a pre-tax deduction for med insurance of $100 per month (which is cheap), and assuming they can get the $130 pre-tax TransitChek benefit with a state and local tax burden of 13.87% -- means one needs $108,491 gross annual income. I could have made mistakes on calculating the FICA, NYS & NYC, and other bits. I am not an accountant; however, I am confident about the order of magnitude.

There's lots of ways to come up with money by scrimping on other things. I'm sure lots and lots of the regulars on this site have experience with making ends meet when they can't have 401k's or employer-provided health insurance. But, get fucking real...we've got a crazy market here where so many of us really think that paying less than $1000 monthly for housing is chickenfeed.

Anonymous said...

PS to my probably TL,DR post @ 9:51.

I miscalculated the NYS & NYC tax combo. It seems to be more like 6.25%. That STILL means one needs a gross annual income of $90,283.

That's still a lot and seems to be what is needed if one wants to be able to afford regular dental care, putting money into savings aside form the 401k, replacing clothes as they wear out, occasionally go out to eat, maybe take a vacation or some long weekends out of town, see plays and live music, go to movies, ... you know, take part in the world.

JAZ said...

The amount he owes for monthly rent may very well be closer to the $11k range in actuality than the 18k. It is quite possible that the $18k+ being quoted includes late payment charges accrued over the period in which his checks were 'not received' (either by landlord's refusal to accept them each month, or his simply not making payments - whichever the truth may be).

Anonymous said...

Taxes? Ev grieve people think those are for 'the rich'. Right? We dont pay. The 80 billion the city spends is something other people pay. And thats not enough. It never is. Always need more freebies and 'services' right? Disgraceful.

chris flash said...

AnonymASS 5:19 + 6:15: You're obviously the SAME real estate troll!!

The REAL tax cheats are those in the real estate industry who kick out long-time locally-owned businesses and leave storefronts EMPTY for years while taking a TAX WRITE-OFF for lost income, developers who receive TAX=PAYER SUBSIDIES from the city to build "luxury" housing for the wealthy (THAT'S our tax dollars at work against US!! If the demand for such housing is there, then WHY do they need to receive WELFARE to build it??), as well as real estate investors who get TAX ABATEMENTS (they get to pay ZERO TAXES!!) in exchange for building Yuppie ghettos.

Jimmy McMillan is cheating NOBODY by having an apartment and an office. The real estate industry, aided + abetted by City Hall, including the current administration, is cheating all of us!!

Anonymous said...

Your tax dollars? SMH Thats my point. People dont like you dont ever pay. Thats the new way. Cheating all of us? The real cheats are jimmy and you and your ilk. You typically didnt respond to my point about the city having a budget comparable to florida or texas. No you rant about real estate nonsense. And when the revenues go down someone else can pay. A guy who is 'disabled' and scamming the system is a cheat. Love how other peoes money is now 'ours'

Anonymous said...

Anon at 6:15 & 8:05

Your posts are bewildering. You seem very angry, but I think you hang out with a disreputable crowd if you don't think there are people paying their taxes here. You should check out tax clinics at the public libraries and through the city and see who you run into.

Fwiw, here's the anecdote of *this* particular poster to EV Grieve...I pay my taxes and do all my forms myself. All my neighbors in my building who are buddies of mine also pay their taxes, although most use accountants--they think I'm nuts for doing this myself. We all read Grieve.

Anonymous said...

People who do taxes at libraries are usually EITC types who only file because they GET money. So they use tax funded libraries to get money. No surprise there. Maybe readers like you pay but the mentality is always make someone else pay. That makes me angry. I read the 80 billion dollar budget and SMH at all the nonsense. And the folks who complain about services are usually nonpayers or they pay very little. A guy who is allegedly disabled with at least 2 apts and a car pisses me off. Luxury cars parked in NYCHA lots piss me off. Everbody has a scam. Thats Obamas America I guess. If you work hard and are successful they feel entitled to raise taxes . As if NYC isnt already a tax nightmare. Ridiculous.

john penley said...

The Veterans Disability pay is tax free and that is because many people in this country feel that America owes a debt to disabled Vets unlike at least one of the anonymous cowards who keeps calling him a scammer. Again I must object to EV allowing others to slander people without identifing themselves.

Gojira said...

@Anon. 8:21 - wow, rage much? Does ANYTHING make you happy, or do you just prefer to stew and steep in your own bile? I feel very sorry for you, and hope that someday you learn the meaning of the word 'compassion'. But you probably won't. BTW I work, pay taxes, and don't even know what "EITC types" are, but since it's coming from you, it can only be a negative thing, I'm sure.