Letters to the Editor, July 24

Conversion should be fully supported by mayor

Mayor de Blasio came to Stuyvesant Town last week to sell his vision of affordable housing for all – including designating ST-PCV as part of his plan for affordable housing throughout Manhattan.

Buried within your article, you reported that the mayor “was open to the idea of a conversion.”

Apparently, the Tenants Association did not press the mayor on the TA’s clearly stated goal, made on behalf of thousands of ST/PCV tenants: a tenant-led, non-eviction condo conversion of the property.

Recall that in October, 2012, to great fanfare, the Tenants Association said that it was taking our case directly to the bondholders. The TA leaders said the time had come for CW Capital to step aside, and if CW would not meet us at the table, we would “cut out the middleman.”

In fact, however, the TA failed to contact the bondholders, and took no further steps on behalf of the 11,000 tenants who wanted to take charge of their destiny and have a seat at the table.

A condo conversion keeps things affordable because long-term tenants can remain in their apartments, without the fear of ever-increasing MCIs that are designed to squeeze tenants until they leave.

A condo conversion allows the new stabilizers to become new homeowners.

Mayor de Blasio needs to stand up in solidarity with tenants and the TA that has worked so hard for a condo conversion. First, he sandbagged our councilmember, lobbying for Dan Garodnick’s opponent in the speaker race.Now he is sandbagging the Tenants Association.

Whose side is the mayor really on?

Name Withheld, ST

Rent increases are still the same

Re: “De Blasio meets with pols, TA on affordability of Stuy Town,” T&V, July 17

To the Editor,

“The mayor pointed out how different his interest in ST/PCV tenants is compared to his predecessor’s.”

Huh? For 20 years both Guiliani and Bloomberg appointed a Rent Guidelines Board that voted 5-4 for an increase in favor of landlords. De Blasio appointed a Rent Guidelines Board that voted 5-4 for an increase in favor of landlords. How is he different “compared to his predecessors?” True, this year’s increase was not as stiff as some other years, but if the RGB increase of 2.75 percent is added to this year’s 4 percent MCI increase, our landlord will get a 6.75 percent increase which, as we know, continues forever, like the kitchen appliances I’ve been renting for the past 24 years at an every increasing rent which I could have used to buy a brand new stove and fridge every few years.

Not bad for landlords. But, I’m afraid, bad for tenants who must, under de Blasio, continue paying the more-than-20-years rent increases that far exceed their increases in income.

“Affordability” is a relative term; it depends on one’s income. For many retired New Yorkers, their rent continues to increase while their income remains stagnant. Soon many retirees who served the city of New York their entire lives will be forced to leave their hometown for another one more welcoming and affordable, really.

John Cappelletti, ST

Hoylman is here to help

To the Editor:

I was dismayed to read in the July 17 issue about Seth Shire’s unfortunate experience when he sought to renew his Verizon FiOS contract (“My Verizon FiOS Nightmare”).

I want to remind readers that I am a resource when you experience customer service issues, and you should feel free to contact me at (212) 633-8052 or hoylman@nysenate.gov.

I can help you cut through the red tape and ensure your problem gets the attention it deserves.

Sincerely,

Brad Hoylman,
New York State Senator, 27th district

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3 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor, July 24

  1. We know our councilman was at the meeting, sense it was at his own apartment but where was the TA insisting and championing a “non-evection tenant led condo conversion”.

    Many of us are not convinced about this new idea floating about with some vague new income based protection plan, especially if it involves CW Capital and subject to a local law under constant threat. And if this new plan does not include current renovated apartments (affordable mainly to 3 or 4 income non related residents).

    The current negotiation seems to be going in the opposite direction of a Tenant led Ownership plan and that does not bode well for most of us.

    This is not what we expect of the TA representatives. Perhaps the news is not good and they want to keep a positive outlook, that’s OK.

    However, if the TA released more facts and a detailed explanation such as what is the current or last TA proposal and Two; a clear and accurate assessment of the current ownership status in this legal/financial debacle, perhaps then they would seem more transparent and informative.

    The only new fact I have been informed of is, who I now have to pay my rent to.

    The good new is that if you are a Senior citizen and are of modest means you will continue to have your home protected under current city and state law. CW Capital has included those protected rents in there financial actuary analysis. They don’t need to threaten seniors with eviction tactics. Their analysis shows the aging out, natural turnover, and apartment conversion is financially doing just fine thank you. The past rent increases have caused enough damage.

    However, the Mayor has enormous influence, his first act was to cease the decade plus long yearly high rent increases for regulated apartments. The mayor did this and we should thank him for it.

    Second we should constantly remind the Mayor that if he wants to quickly & dramatically increase affordable housing in NYC, he should take a page from President Kennedy who accomplished that very task at a community directly across town on the M-23 bus.

    In fact its a community of similar size and scope to ours (only they had power during Hurricane Sandy, and we didn’t but thats another story).

    Penn South is a resident owned Co-op dedicated by President Kennedy over 55 years age. It is still an affordable, no flipping well run complex for middle income residents.

    So perhaps the Mayor can speak to an aid of our current President and suggest one of his Federal agency/banks who hold the senior debt to direct one of those entities to act in our behalf and let us take over the senior debt (and the Complex too). They can then take to money and loan it too some other developer (hopefully to build more affordable housing).

    So get on the phone, your pens and start letting the Mayor know we want the next dedication of an affordable housing community to a potential future President in Stuyvesant Town.

    Oh yes, you can include the Claude Rains “usual suspects” officials in your campaign.

  2. To say that a condo conversion makes STPCV affordable is misleading, clearly a way of advocating for Brookfield. A co-op conversion is much better. Far more tenants would be able to buy. For something truly community-oriented, Penn South provides a great model.

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