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October 17. 2012 4:07PM

Veteran, 79, can remain in his apartment in compromise with Manchester housing agency


Gerald Pilotte of Manchester worries he faces potential eviction later this month from his NHRA apartment. (MARK HAYWARD/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — Under the terms of a secret agreement between the Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority and an elderly tenant the agency sought to evict after firefighters were called to his apartment seven times in a year, the tenant will be allowed to remain.

The April 24 eviction notice sent to Gerald Pilotte, who says he is 79, cited multiple fire calls for unattended cooking or improper disposal of cigarettes in his apartment at 14 Falls Ave.

Pilotte told a Union Leader reporter last spring that the problem was a faulty stove and said the MHRA should give him a microwave.

Pilotte, who said he is a veteran, wanted to stay in the apartment where he has lived since the 1980s, saying he can't afford to move.

The MHRA asked attorney Elliot Berry of New Hampshire Legal Assistance to represent Pilotte and a hearing was set for Wednesday in Circuit Court-Manchester District Division.

But Berry and James Craig, who represented the MHRA, were able to reach an agreement that allows Pilotte to remain in his apartment.

After the hearing, Berry declined to speak about the agreement, saying the terms are secret and Pilotte also declined to comment.

Craig said that to protect Pilotte, he could not discuss the terms, but said: "He can stay in his house under certain conditions." Craig said the provisions of the agreement will ensure the safety of both Pilotte and his neighbors.


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