More Stuy Town residents get MCI notices for hot water system

By Sabina Mollot

This week, some residents of Stuyvesant Town received notices that the Division of Housing and Community Renewal had approved the owner’s request for hot water heater major capital improvement rent increase.

One resident shared the MCI notice on the Tenants Association’s Facebook page, which stated the increase to tenants’ rent would be $1.86 per room per month. However, MCI charges can vary slightly from building to building and this one is for the whole complex.

The ST-PCV Tenants Association had opposed this MCI, but the DHCR rejected its arguments that it would cause a financial hardship to tenants and that it was unfair because the property’s six commercial garages would also be benefitting from the upgrade. In its notice to tenants, the DHCR wrote that the garages are getting their own separate hot water systems, so they aren’t benefitting from the hot water heater (exchanger) system.

This isn’t a new project. MCIs were approved in 2016 for the first round of installations (eight out 18 new hot water heat exchanger systems). The new round of approvals were for the other 10.

“The recently approved MCIs for the hot water heat exchanger systems do not include the garage hot water,” Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk said this week. “The sinks in the garages are not connected to the new hot water heaters thus the DHCR concluded the garages do not receive any benefit and based their rent calculations accordingly.”

At this time, the ST-PCV Tenants Association said it is looking into the DHCR’s response, since not all of the buildings have received notices yet.

11 thoughts on “More Stuy Town residents get MCI notices for hot water system

  1. Time after time I see these articles focus on the Tenants’ Association. But in fact the real mover for any issues within any district is the councilman. And for decades we’ve seen the same. That is, our councilmen have been/are proud to tout the passage of laws that have some general appeal and applicability, but that when it comes to real, immediate issues that impact peoples’ lives here and now, they are either AWOL (making no comment at all) or in the end they come out favoring or justifying the city’s real estate interests.

  2. TA is batting a whopping 0.00 over the past decade in terms of MCI victories. They expect people to pay $50 in membership dues, get over $100k over the past five years from our councilmen (OUR TAX DOLLARS!) and they have absolutely zilch to show for it.

    I’d say that all equates to a colossal failure on their part, and that doesn’t even begin to consider the absolute silence the group has given to all QOL issues since Rick and crew took over the management of this place.

    • Didn’t know the TA got money from our councilman! Why is that? Who do they really work for? We all know the councilman (and all our so-called elected representatives) work for REBNY, so if the TA is getting money from them ….. Now I am beginning to understand why they do NOTHING for tenants (and a flea market doesn’t count)!

      • Oh yes, it’s pretty well documented that Garodnick and Powers have given taxpayer funds to the TA. They also received a nice chunk of change from the Roberts Settlement. It is over $100k since 2014 total.

  3. How do you get a major capital Improvement from what is, essentially, a replacement of an existing, worn-out, system which costs have been fully recovered by depreciation expense against income????

    This has NEVER made sense to me. Add a new security system or some concierge service center,, that’s an “improvement”; this other stuff is just upkeep of normal wear and tear.

    Rentes increases for such things are totally bogus.

  4. None of the MCIs make any sense. If I don’t own the property, why am I responsible for its upkeep? Isn’t that what my rent is for? This is another blatant ripoff of tenants. Every MCI gets rubber stamped by the DHCR. I wasn’t aware that I could buy a building and get my tenants to pay for the roof, hot water heaters, pavements, etc. If I’m going to pay for ST/PCV’s upkeep, I’d like a piece of the revenue. After all, they’re the ones who are making money off of this.

  5. Seems this is how they force older original tenants out of here. Tactics like this for no bloody reason. Our intercom was perfectly fine, updated and working well. No reason in bloody hell to install a new system.

    • It is just a total rip-off. We are paying for useless crap, e.g., faulty windows, do-overs of the intercom. It’s a back-door way of imposing huge rent increases.
      I keep my intercom permanently silenced because I am sick of delivery people ringing the wrong bell, drunks ringing he bell and party-goers getting the wrong apartment. When my visitors come over, they call me as they get to the building and hen I turn the intercom on briefly to buzz them in. Most of the time, though, they don’t have to be buzzed in because the doors are open or someone lets them in. So much for the safety of living here!

  6. I preferred the old intercom system. It allowed us to permit or refuse entry from any phone instead of always having to walk to the front. The ‘plausible’ explanation for the video intercom is…if you don’t recognize the caller, you won’t admit whereas with the old system some people had been buzzing strangers in. But consider…there are no doormen in our buildings. So if trying to market to better-heeled renters, through there is no changing the middle class look of red brick buildings, your pitch is…wonderful green spaces, great playgrounds, remodeled apts and yes, though we have no doormen, we do have a video entry system to add to your safety. So these doubtful upgrades really serve a dual purpose. They help the owner’s marketing efforts while at the same time putting pressure on current tenants. And then of course, what could be better than the tenants essentially paying for the improvements.

    Since the MCIs are clearly an important part of management’s game plan, I have to cycle back to the same point. The TA by itself can have little impact. Any objections to MCIs have to have the force of your councilman. Without that….nothing.

    It’s important to know….80% to 90% of our council district is co-op. condo or luxury rental. The’original’ tenants in STPCV are really outliers. We really have more in common with districts south of 14th Street. Although thanks to DeBlasio-Cuomo policies, those areas are starting to change too.

  7. Can’t remember when we last had a decent council person. My memory only goes back to Eva Moskowitz. Don’t even remember much about her, but the last two (including incumbent) have been totally owned by REBNY and totally worthless from the tenants’ POV.

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