The Rent Is Too Damn…Low? Jimmy McMillan Faces Eviction From Manhattan Apartment

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Jimmy McMillan of the Rent is 2 Damn High Party speaks during the New York gubernatorial debate, October 18, 2010.

“The rent is too damn high!” The simple phrase became Jimmy McMillan’s party platform in New York’s recent governor’s race, a mantra many New Yorkers could indeed rally behind. But in reality, McMillan was living comfortably without fear of price hikes in a rent-controlled apartment.

He told the New York Post he pays $872 a month for his St. Marks’ Place apartment that he’s lived in for more than three decades. In the 34 years since McMillan moved in, the East Village has seen an influx of nouveau riche, and his landlord could probably charge three times as much. So he faces being kicked out of his rent-controlled East Village apartment because, as he claims, his landlord wants to get more for the place.

(VIDEO: Jimmy McMillan Gets the Documentary Treatment)

His landlord, Lisco Holdings, claims that McMillan violated the terms of his lease because his primary residence is actually in Brooklyn – a breach that’s grounds for eviction. McMillan says he’s filing a countersuit of $70,000 claiming “it’s a trick they all play.” He says he does indeed live in the East Village apartment, using his alternate residence in Brooklyn as an office and campaign headquarters.

But if McMillan is evicted and forced to find new digs, he’ll have full rights to claim that the rent is too damn high. In terms of 2011 housing prices, he’ll never find such a great deal for the East Village.

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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