Published December 09, 2013
A 100-year-old woman who says she has been living in the same apartment in Manhattan since 1964 has received an eviction notice from the city’s housing authority, which claims she has been secretly residing in Italy and unlawfully gave the apartment to her son.
Concetta Passione, a resident at Rutgers Housing, was served a “breach of rules” notice by the New York City Housing Authority in November, the New York Daily News reports. She turned 100 on Saturday.
Passione said she takes trips to Italy annually and always pays her $219-a-month rent on time. She lives in the one-bedroom apartment with her 73-year-old son, who helps take care of her.
“I want to be here,” she told the Daily News. “I will never get used to any place else. I’m the first one to come here and now they want to throw me out? It’s not right.”
Passione moved into the apartment in 1964 with her husband, Carmelo, and sons Sebastian and Paul.
After Carmelo died in 1973 and Paul moved out, Sebastian came to live with Concetta full-time.
The city’s Department of Investigation began checking Passione’s passport records after receiving a tip from an anonymous caller who said she actually lived in Italy and illegally let Sebastian take over the apartment.
The department said their investigation revealed Concetta resided in Italy from 2000 to 2009 and would only travel to the Big Apple each year for Christmas, the Daily News reports.
As the rent of public housing tenants is based on their income, the Department of Investigation concluded that the family owes NYCHA $9,849 after looking at Sebastian’s income as a translator. Only Concetta and Paul are named on the apartment’s lease, despite Sebastian claiming to have asked NYCHA for years to be added.
NYCHA did not respond to requests for comment from the Daily News.