'Rent is too damn high' candidate now facing eviction

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

NEW YORK -- One-time New York City mayoral and New York gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillan is best known for his "rent is too damn high" slogan. But now, he's in danger of losing his own apartment.

The Vietnam veteran has caught the ire of his landlord and has been served with an eviction notice.

"I've got the money to pay them," he said. "They don't want the money. They want me out of here."

The battle to stay in his East Village rent-stabilized apartment, where he pays $872 a month, has McMillan fighting the landlord, Lisco Holdings, in court.

McMillan's attorney, John DeMaio, said Lisco Holdings had brought a case against McMillan a few years ago. While dealing with this issue, DeMaio says McMillan's rent became overdue.

McMillan says there's a disagreement over the late rent, and he has records, he claims, to show he paid.

He says a housing court judge recently refused to allow him to pay most of an amount that was due, and the eviction order was issued.

"I tried to pay it," he said. "I didn't want to, but I said let me get it over with...way before it even got to this, they tried to find a way to get me out."

We were unable to reach Lisco holdings for comment, but McMillan said he believes the landlord wants him out to get market rate from a new renter.

"We're in a fight to save this apartment," he said. "Saving this apartment for me will save a lot of New Yorkers from this harrassment in housing court."

McMillan has challenged big-name politicians in the past, having run for both mayor and governor. And he says he's up for this fight too. He's now appealing the ruling as a February 5 eviction date looms closer.

"The bottom line is, they want me out for more money," said McMillan, who has been a resident of the building since 1977.

He filed papers in federal court last week in Brooklyn looking to put a stay on the eviction order.