EAST NEW YORK - Hundreds opposed to the sale of the Starrett City housing complex turned out at a hearing Friday to make their feelings known to local leaders.

Developer Clipper Equities is interested in buying the complex, which houses 22,000 people. Tenants are concerned the sale of Starrett City would result in higher rents. State lawmakers are now considering a bill to subsidize the apartments, which would protect residents from rent increases even if the development is sold.

Those who attended the hearing included tenants, council members and members of the housing group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Marie Purnel, president of the Starrett City Tenants Association, said, ?We worship here, we vote here, we pay our taxes here and we raise our families here. Do not cause us to join the hundreds of thousands of homeless in New York City.?

Clipper Equities says it is committed to affordable housing and that any sale proposal will be in the best interest of the tenants.

Residents say they will continue to fight to save their community.