Last tenant at Shoreline Apartments refuses to leave

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The only tenant left inside the Shoreline Apartments is standing his ground.

Norstar Development told hundreds of people they had to move out early last year. The plan is to demolish the building, but new apartments have already been built next door.

John Schmidt has lived in his apartment for 10 years. He’s the last tenant of 172 families forced to leave the Shoreline Apartments, but he’s not leaving without a fight.

“Eventually they bullied everyone into leaving, everyone except me,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt has 20 days to leave, he was given a 30-day notice of lease termination last month.

“At the bottom of it, it says your costing us money, get out. I’m going to fight it anyway I can and if I lose, I lose, but I will make them work to get me out,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt says his presence protests corruption.

Inside the apartment building Schmidt says is neglect. Broken glass, boarded windows, unkept floors and unclaimed belongings remain.

Outside it looks abandoned which is much different than it was a year ago.

“Outside of the building is an abomination, it’s an eyesore,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt claims his unit has yet to be approved for demolition which might be the only way he’ll leave his home of 10 years.

“I think the plan now is to just let this place just deteriorate and to be vandalized and turned into dens of crime until the city has no choice, but to get rid of them.”

Schmidt told News 4 he wants legal notice that says he has to leave, not the lease termination from the developer. He’s currently seeking legal advice to fight it.

He says without enough quality low income housing in Buffalo, he doesn’t know where he’ll end up next.

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