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NYCHA To Elderly Residents: Take A Smaller Apartment Or Be Evicted

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A fight has erupted between elderly New York City residents, and city officials who said the residents need to move into smaller apartments.

As WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported Friday, Zelphia Phillips has lived in the same two-bedroom apartment in the Tivoli Towers development in Crown Heights, Brooklyn for 39 years.

She is now being downsized.

NYCHA To Elderly Residents: Take A Smaller Apartment Or Be Evicted

"And I'm not the only one," Phillips said. "They want to take people in one-bedroom and put them in a studio – in a studio! And their age, they're supposed to start pulling out a couch now. If they need a home aide, what are they supposed to do?"

Phillips is facing eviction.

Blanche Bush, 88, lives in Marcus Garvey Village in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and has also been asked to move.

"Because I had four mini-strokes and two mild heart attacks, they want me to move. They don't want me there period," she said.

But Bush said she plans to stay put.

"Not after 33 years, I'm not going to – oh God, I'm going to fight them to the death," she said. "Uh-uh."

The New York City Housing Authority is asking the residents to move so as to accommodate larger families on a lengthy wait list. The city calls the practice "right-sizing."

But Phillips calls it something entirely different.

"It's not fair. It's not fair, and it's cruel and inhuman treatment," she said.

Over 6,500 seniors could face eviction if they don't move to smaller units.

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