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Families Being Forced Out Of Malden Apartments By Charter School That Purchased Building

MALDEN (CBS) - Tenants living at 22 Lebanon Street in Malden are now speaking out against Mystic Valley Regional Charter School after the school purchased their building and are terminating their leases by the end of the month.

The businesses located at the bottom of the building do not have to move out until 2023, but the three families living upstairs were told to move out by December 31st.

"My 19-year-old called me, she was like mom, they just gave us a notice. I was like what we didn't even know they sold the building," tenant Bose Keinkeg said.

"It took us by surprise because when they bought the property, they told us we could stay until April 2023," tenant Tatiane De Oliveira said.

De Oliveria has lived in the building for nearly two decades with her husband and son and she was shocked to find a letter taped to her door last month terminating her lease on December 31st.

"We don't have anywhere to go or any money to give on deposit for rent so it's something very scary for us," De Oliveria said.

According to local non-profit Housing Families– even if the school moves forward with evicting tenants — they will have some time. They're also protected under the city's eviction moratorium for now.

"Even though the initial notice will say they have two weeks they're going to have some time because everyone has to go through the court process," Housing Families CEO Laura Rosi said.

"We will do anything within our power to support them and make sure that their rights are respected as tenants be," Malden City Councilman Stephen Winslow said.

In response, Mystic Valley Regional Charter School released the following statement:

"Mystic Valley Regional Charter School (MVRCS) purchased a residential/commercial block on Lebanon St. with the intent on using it for eventual school expansion, with 2023 as a targeted date for the start of construction. Since that time, the City of Malden has taken actions that have caused the school to accelerate the interim steps it must take in anticipation of 2023. While the school issued Notices to Quit to the residential tenants as an initial step, MVRCS has not undertaken the second step required, which is the filing of a summary process action in the district court. Malden City Councilor At Large Craig Spadafora recently contacted the school to facilitate constructive and solution-oriented dialogue. MVRCS looks forward to collaborating with Councilor Spadafora in hopes that we can arrive at a favorable solution."

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