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‘Landlord’ Rauf Has History Of Complaints

From northern New Jersey’s (Bergen) Record:

Ground Zero Imam has history of tenant troubles; N.J. apartments in need of repair

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Muslim cleric at the center of the proposed mosque and community center near Ground Zero is also a New Jersey landlord who got more than $2 million in public financing to renovate low-income apartments and has been beset for years by tenant complaints and financial problems.

Imam Feisal A. Rauf won support for his Hudson County projects from powerful politicians, among them Robert C. Janiszewski, the disgraced former county executive. He also was awarded grants from Union City when U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez was mayor….

Rauf forged ties with Fred Daibes, the prominent waterfront developer and bank chairman. Additionally, Rauf is a onetime business ally of a Daibes associate who sued the imam for alleged mortgage fraud. The 2008 suit was quietly settled in June…

In conjunction with others, Rauf is now taking on the largest project of his life with a track record showing that, despite government subsidies, he has had trouble maintaining small apartment buildings in North Bergen, Palisades Park and Union City.

Page after page of municipal health records examined by The Record show repeated complaints ranging from failure to pick up garbage, to rat and bedbug infestations and no heat and hot water.

Cynthia Balko, 48, of Union City — a longtime tenant of Rauf’s — said she’s had to live with rats, leaks and no heat: “I don’t have anything nice to say about the man.” …

“He can’t even repair the bells in the hallway. He doesn’t take care of his properties. But he’s going to take care of a mosque?” …

[Rauf’s] wife, Daisy Khan, who has been the public face of the project while her husband is overseas, commented for this story, first in interviews and in an e-mail.

She maintained Rauf’s business dealings in New Jersey have “no relevance to the Park51 project [sic].

“The Imam does not get paid for his spiritual work or work as an Imam,” she wrote in the e-mail late Friday. “He invests in real estate, much as someone would invest in stocks, bonds or other assets to secure one’s future and provide an income stream. He has dedicated his life to helping others working as an Imam.”

Well, he’s being paid for his “spiritual work” by the US State Department. Did they hire him because of his experience as a real estate investor?

From the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, Rauf acquired five apartment buildings in Union City and one each in North Bergen and Palisades Park.

Union City’s Community Development Agency awarded three grants, totaling $384,000, to renovate three of his properties in 1989 on the condition that he retain the properties for seven years, records show…

Three years later, two of those buildings on Bergenline Avenue also received nearly $1.3 million in construction loans from Hudson County’s affordable-housing trust fund and $630,900 from the state with the proviso that the units be rented at “affordable” rates through 2017.

Rauf met with Menendez in late 1991 before applying for the state funds, and months later made a pitch to the mayor for $80,000 in city funds to help carry him until the loans came through, documents show…

It could not be determined if Rauf got the requested city assistance, but two weeks later he received a letter from Janiszewski informing him that county officials had approved his application for $1,295,000…

Complaints at Rauf’s Palisades Park building in the late 1980s and mid-1990s paint a picture similar to the one in Hudson County, with piles of garbage, weeds and overgrown grass among the concerns. Heat, roaches and “filthy halls” are cited in local records.

“He wasn’t a good landlord," said Jad Mihalinec, the health officer in Palisades Park

Mr. Rauf sounds like he is a slum lord who has figured out how to feed at the public trough.

What a surprise, huh?

(Thanks to CGardner for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, August 29th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “‘Landlord’ Rauf Has History Of Complaints”

  1. proreason says:

    Why would anybody think it necessary to provide infidels with clean housing?

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    I’m wondering here if the Imam is here on a visa or is he a citizen.
    Something is askew about this 2 faced bridge builder/dog robber.
    Now add slumlord to his resume.

  3. wardmama4 says:

    Rauf has a bachelors in physics – has been a salesman, a job in teaching and real estate. The esteemed Mrs Rauf (Daisy Khan) is his 3rd wife – Rauf was born in Kuwait in 1948, immigrated in 1960, been an imam since 1983 – I wonder what qualifications you need to become a ‘holy’ man in Islam? Once again, no wonder the li(e)brals love these people – they both get rich on the backs of the very people they are claiming to help and care about.

    God Help America
    A Proud American Infidel

  4. misanthropicus says:

    Any comparison with Tony Rezko or Valerie Jarret is scandalous and cannot come from other than an Islamophobe –
    I know imam Rauf, and he’s not Tony Rezko or other rotten slumlor –
    Imam Rauf is in a class of itself – he is a martyr –

  5. hushpuppy says:

    Why can’t Barack Obama tell the world about American tolerance?

    The controversy over the ‘Ground Zero mosque’ has portrayed the United States as a land of bigots. Toby Harnden wonders why the US President has helped fuel this myth.


    As if there isn’t enough going to that makes people want to grind their teeth in frustration, there’s this news item from England.

  6. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

    I’m not making excuses for the camel humper but I find it hard to believe that the innocent tenants of these apartments have nothing to do with the condition of the buildings.

  7. hushpuppy says:

    Actually it does sound like your making excuses because you didn’t say how or why you came to that conclusion.

    So- what you’re reasoning behind your comment?

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

      I’m from N.J. originally and I’ve seen firsthand the BS landlords have to deal with renting properties in Northern N.J.

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