Private equity’s affordable housing land rush leaves trail of disputes

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Joe Dejesus has stopped counting how often he has patched leaks and repaired walls at the rent-controlled Brooklyn housing block where he works as superintendent.

The community organisation that rents out the apartments had been preparing to install a new roof and heating system, but held off when an investment group stepped in to claim sweeping rights over the property, according to people familiar with the charity’s plans.

Instead the landlord, RiseBoro Community Partnership, is entering the third year of a legal battle with insurance company American International Group over who is the long-term owner of the imposing century-old block.

It is one of at least half a dozen fights between charities and powerful investment groups over affordable apartments funded by federal tax credits — a trend that activists say could displace families whose homes were built with billions of dollars of government subsidies.

Those homes are now coveted by private…

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