November 9, 2020
An apartment management company co-owned by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has taken action in court to evict hundreds of tenants whose finances have taken a hit from COVID -19, The Washington Post first reported November 5.
A state moratorium protects tenants against evictions as people struggle with loss of jobs during the pandemic. A federal moratorium for government-supported housing, which includes some run by Westminster, also offers tenant protections during the crisis.
But Westminster, which manages some 20,000 apartments, and other management companies are eager to get started on the process against tenants with past-due rent. Westminster, part of the Kushner family’s Kushner Cos., said in a statement that Westminster’s actions are fully compliant with state and federal eviction bans.
Jared Kushner claimed that he gave up managing Kushner Cos. when his father-in-law, President Donald Trump, made him a senior White House adviser. But he maintained his ownership in the company. Kushner earned $1.69 million from his stake in Westminster last year, according to his financial filings.
One resident of a Westminster-managed apartment Tashika Booker, told the Post that she lost her job working for an online education company because of the pandemic. She said she’s struggling to pay rent as she seeks other work.
Westminster is fighting a lawsuit by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh that accuses the company of violations concerning tacked-on fees and poor housing conditions, the HuffPost said.
Months before the suit was filed, Trump slammed the Baltimore congressional district represented by the late Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings’ (D-Maryland) as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
Kushner properties in the area at the time had racked up hundreds of building code violations. An earlier lawsuit described one Kushner apartment as having a leaking bedroom ceiling, maggots in the living room carpet and raw sewage spewing form the kitchen sink.
As for the suit filed by Frosh, Kushner Cos. managers have denied the charges, and claim the court action is politically motivated.
Research contact: @HuffPost