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Middle Island Residents Fear Eviction After Co-Op Goes Bankrupt

MIDDLE ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Some renters of a Suffolk County complex are preparing for Thanksgiving while wondering if they'll soon be looking for a place to live.

The Tudor Oaks co-op went bankrupt and was sold at auction, 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera reported. Some tenants received a letter saying they'd be evicted Friday.

"Scared that I'm going to have to get out, my kids will be in a shelter," tenant Jennifer Critcher said. "I don't want that."

Middle Island Residents Fear Eviction After Co-Op Goes Bankrupt

The new owner, Fairfield Properties, told Rivera it is not in the process of evicting anyone.

"Recently the Middle Island Civic Association reported a rumor that Tudor Oaks' residents would be evicted by November 28, 2014," the company's attorney wrote in an email. "That rumor is false. It appears that the rumor comes from a letter issued by the Suffolk County Department of Social Services.

"Fairfield Properties sent its own letter to occupants of Tudor Oaks, and merely requested that the occupants contact Fairfield Properties regarding moving forward at Tudor Oaks," the statement continued. "Fairfield has invited every occupant to apply to become a tenant with Fairfield, and many occupants have already accepted that invitation."

Vanessa Baird-Streeter, a spokesperson for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, denied that the county was the source of any eviction "rumor." She noted that rental tenants got letters from Fairfield informing them that their leases were terminated as of the end of November.

"The Suffolk County Department of Social Services responded proactively to the communications that were sent by Fairfield Properties which indicated that those residents who were renters of Tudor Oak properties were subject to the following as of November 17th:  'If you are occupying a unit and were not the shareholder, you no longer have a right to occupy or possess such unit,' " Baird-Streeter said in a statement. "Based on this information, DSS sent caseworkers to Tudor Oaks and provided housing assistance packages, which included a list of local realtors, and are continuing to follow up with DSS clients to assist with their housing search process."

Meanwhile, the stress of the situation is ruining Thanksgiving for many tenants.

"What would we do?" resident Kenny Forino said. "Where would we go? There's like a few hundred families in here."

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