NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Landlords allegedly divided condos on the Lower East Side, horizontally, creating ceilings in some units as low as four-and-a-half feet.
The residents were stacked like sardines inside some apartments in 165 Henry Street in Lower Manhattan.
City inspectors found that a sixth floor was created in the five-story building to add the apartments.
"Packing tenants into apartments so tiny you cannot even stand up in them is not only a violation of the law—it is barbaric," Councilwoman Margaret Chin said.
After investigating the micro-units, Department of Buildings officials were tipped off to another illegal subdivision at apartment 701 in the building where nine single-room occupancy units were discovered.
All the apartments were raided and some residents were relocated with help from the American Red Cross.
One resident said they paid $600 a month for the tiny space.
“Every New Yorker deserves a safe and legal place to live, which is why we’re committed to routing out dangerous firetraps and ordering the landlords to make these apartments safe,” DOB spokesman Andrew Rudansky said.