By Sabina Mollot
The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association is seeking neighbors’ help in an effort to challenge the recently announced video intercom MCI.
The major capital improvement rent increase, if approved, will impact the following Peter Cooper Village buildings: 420 and 440 East 23rd Street, 350, 360, 360 and 390 First Avenue, 2 and 3 Peter Cooper Road and 431 and 441 East 20th Street.
Susan Steinberg, president of the Tenants Association, said this particular MCI, one of four on the horizon, is expected to cost tenants $2.13-$2.50 per room per month.
At a meeting last month, Steinberg said the four MCIs would be challenged for different reasons, including issues with paperwork.
In the case of the video intercoms, she said there is a question of whether the old intercom system had come to the end of its useful life.
“There is a 15-year useful life and in at least one building, the prior intercom system was not 15 years old,” said Steinberg. “So we’re looking at that as a challenge.”
As for the other MCIs, which are for water heaters, façade waterproofing and ramps for wheelchair users, the last one may not face a challenge. Steinberg said this is because the ramps are only expected to cost around $1 per room at four addresses along East 20th Street.
The MCIs were announced by Blackstone/StuyTown Property Services in September.
“It really is a disappointment that these things are coming right after the other,” said Steinberg. “Even though it might seem like a small amount per room, it adds up, especially when there are multiple ones.” Adding insult to injury, she noted, “They always come along in the holidays. That’s DHCR for you.”
The DHCR (Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the state housing agency) will determine if the MCIs gets approved.
To help the TA fight them, in an email blast sent on Monday, the organization asked tenants to fill out the tenant response form on the MCI notice that they’ve received in the mail to request a 60-day extension to respond to the application.