Letters to the Editor, Oct. 13

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

No option to downsize for the stabilized

Re: “800 ST/PCV residents who qualify for SCRIE/DRIE haven’t enrolled,” T&V, Sept. 29

Despite being many months away from being eligible, I write to commend all of the people involved in publicizing the DRIE and SCRIE rent exemption programs.

But first I want to mention something that’s troublesome. The New York Observer editorialized on behalf of an option that seniors in rent stabilized multi-bedroom apartments be able to downsize to rent stabilized studios, as my grandmother did decades ago, to save chunks of rent. Having one’s rent cut in half is better than having one’s rent frozen. But that is not an option either in PCV-ST or anywhere anymore.

But older people in PCV-ST remember when they had the option to move into a less expensive stabilized apartment.  Instead of looking forward to that option, many have become more afraid of change and, perhaps, even to include the fear of applying to have their rent frozen. But if, per the article, 800 people in units are eligible, then that means if 45 percent of the total 11,000 units are rent stabilized. And if 35 percent of the 45 percent are eligible that means there are about 1,700 units that are entitled and the 800 unenrolled would be almost half, which I agree stinks.

So how are we going to get them enrolled? Fortunately, I figured out a two-step program. Step one, security rounds up all residents on a designated day who are skateboarding, biking, hover boarding and walking strollers whether on their smart phones or with their dogs on leashes, making the grounds safe. Step two, we fight stink with stink. Since the elders won’t have to worry about getting hit, it will be safe for them to come out.  And we’ll get them out on marijuana day, having every pot smoker between 14th and 23rd streets, First Avenue to the river, blow the place up so that the elders can’t take it.

Once they come out of doors to escape the stench, we flood them with rent freeze applications. The 800 unregistered will drop to 400 the first year!

Billy Sternberg, ST


Land bank would spur affordable housing

The following is an open letter to city Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Dear Comptroller Scott Stringer,

Weeks ago I wrote to a local newspaper editor the idea that no elected politician could ever sell land that belongs to our city or our state. Instead we should rent it for 80 or 100 years.

In addition to prevent corruption, the “creation of a New York City land bank – a government-backed nonprofit that, like a land trust, has both the power and the resources to turn vacant lots into permanent affordable housing” added to the not selling of any land lot that the city owns – will not turn New York City into a poor one in the hands of the greedy real estate developers. If we don’t stop this immoral selling of NYC land now, we could add another 20,000 names to the 260,000 names that you mentioned in your report of September 28, 2016, because our city mayor is trying to sell buildings: Polo Grounds Towers, Harlem River Houses, Drew Hamilton House, Wagner Houses, and God knows how many others. These buildings, as you know, are located on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Eighth Avenue, Lenox Avenue, approximately between 118th and 126th Streets in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Please, count on me to help with this important project to really solve the lack of housing for the working persons – not only the poor – in New York City.

Later we can talk about the trick of the word “affordable” when we are considering the working persons who, at the present time, don’t even have a full time job.

Very truly yours,

Alicia B. Zanelli, ST

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