800 ST/PCV residents who qualify for SCRIE/DRIE haven’t enrolled

City pushing rent freeze programs on East Side

Last Thursday, Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha and Council Member Dan Garodnick announced that citywide, eligible seniors and disabled tenants aren’t taking advantage of an available rent freeze, especially in Stuyvesant Town and along the East Side of Manhattan. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

Last Thursday, Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha and Council Member Dan Garodnick announced that citywide, eligible seniors and disabled tenants aren’t taking advantage of an available rent freeze, especially in Stuyvesant Town and along the East Side of Manhattan. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Last Thursday, the city rolled out what’s it’s calling East Side Rent Freeze Month, a series of events in October aimed at getting eligible New Yorkers signed up for programs that would exempt them from rent hikes, including MCIs (major capital improvements).

The reason for the push was that in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village alone, 800 eligible tenants have yet to sign up for the programs. According to Jacques Jiha, the city’s finance commissioner, the number of eligible people citywide is 80,000, and many of them are East Siders.

“The East Side of Manhattan has the highest number of eligible participants,” said Jiha, as he stood outside Stuyvesant Town’s Community Center with local elected officials and tenants for a press conference. “During the month we’ll sign up as many eligible seniors and people with disabilities as possible.”

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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 29

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

What about the 6,000 other apartments?

I’m writing to express my extreme displeasure with the terms of the recent sale of PCVST, which the mayor and our elected officials have been touting as a victory in the press.

I believe this “victory,” unfortunately, serves the mayor’s political agenda more than it does the PCVST community as a whole. While reserving 5,000 units for affordable housing is a good thing – and an admirable goal to strive for – it will, sadly, come at the expense of the other 6,000+ apartments, including market rate renters, the majority of whom are hard-working families who want to live in PCVST because it is a great place to raise a family and is zoned in a great public school district.

These people are struggling like any other New Yorker. There are no millionaires living here. This deal has sold out more than half of this community – and yet there was Mayor de Blasio, flanked by our trusted elected officials, boasting of how he “saved” STPCV.

The mayor had a real opportunity to effect real change in this community. Instead he took the politically convenient route: finding the easiest way to add numbers to his affordable housing quota. What he failed to take into consideration is PCVST’s uniqueness. It is a whole community, not a spreadsheet. He could have used his political clout to not only save those 5,000 units, but to work toward a plan for tenant ownership, which would have ensured a true, long-lasting, and better community – and helped the community as a whole.

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Memorial Day concert at Stuy Town Community Center

On Wednesday, May 20, residents from Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town participated in a Memorial Day choral concert. A group of residents, under the direction of Scott Laubner, community center manager, and Audrey Joy, musical director, practiced for several weeks leading up the concert date. Audience members were encouraged to sing along to familiar songs like “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “This Land is your Land.”

Hymns or fight songs associated with each service branch were sung and service men and women who served in a particular branch were asked to stand and be recognized for their service to the country. The chorus put on head scarves when the song “Rosie the Riveter” was sung as an homage to all the women who worked in the munitions factories during World War II.

Photos by Martin McCarthy

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CW Capital/CompassRock: Con Ed “repairs” cause explosions along Avenue C and fire hazards in PCV buildings

The following notice was issued by CW Capital/CompassRock last night to explain those explosions and why some buildings in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village are still without power.

RESIDENT NOTICE – NOVEMBER 3 EVENING UPDATE 

We are extraordinarily pleased that much of the community has had power restored over the past 24 hours.  Unfortunately, much of Peter Cooper Village and certain buildings in Stuyvesant Town, primarily along Avenue C, remain without power at this time.  The reason for this is that the electrical equipment in the basements of the effected buildings were submerged in salt water during the flood.  This exposure to salt water has created damage which makes it unsafe to turn on the electricity.

This was evidenced by events at Peter Cooper Village last night.  Despite numerous warnings to Con Edison that it was unsafe to turn on the power, Con Edison electrified all of the property last night, including those buildings with damaged electrical equipment; in addition, ConEd electrified their own power lines in the street which were not yet safe to operate.  This caused several explosions under manhole covers along Avenue C last night that many residents may have heard.  The explosions occurred to ConEd equipment that was immediately outside the perimeter of the community.  In addition, the damaged equipment in the basement of 6 Peter Cooper Road created a potential fire hazard and elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) readings in the basement areas.  FDNY was immediately summoned and remained onsite throughout the episode to ensure that residents were safe at all times.  FDNY performed continuous CO2 monitoring to ensure safety.  Andrew MacArthur from CWCapital, City Councilman Garodnick, Sean Sullivan, General Manager of CompassRock, and members of the tenants association were present at the site of the incident during this period and worked together to coordinate resources in the interest of resident safety.

Management worked through the Mayor’s office and Councilman Garodnick worked through the Speaker of the City Council’s office to jointly impress on ConEd the seriousness of the situation.   This coordination helped ensure ConEd’s responsiveness and we are pleased to report that it also resulted in the dispatch of significant resources to our community which should result in expedited repairs.

We have continued our assessment of the damage to the buildings caused by the storm and are now able to provide you with more detailed information and timelines for the restoration of full utilities and other services. Please refer to the matrix below for detailed information about your respective building.  Once again, we are providing you with the following updates immediately so that you can plan accordingly. Addressing these problems remains our top priority. We will continue to keep our residents updated with respect to any changes in the information outlined below.

Water Service: As we explained yesterday, no damage was done to the water pumps in Stuyvesant Town and basic service will continue to be available.  In Peter Cooper Village, nine of the twelve pumps that distribute water to PCV buildings still require repair, allowing for basic service; however, during peak usage periods, pressure drops may still occur.  Please remember to be mindful of conserving water to the best of your ability, particularly during peak hours.

Heat & Hot Water Service: While part of the property has regained full restoration of heat and hot water service, we anticipate full restoration for the remainder of the property within the coming week.  Please refer to the attached matrix to see the status of your building.

Electricity Service:  Much of the property has had power restored.  Those buildings without power are in the process of having critical electrical equipment repaired in order to ensure resident safety when the power is restored.  This work is partially dependent on ConEd which has made the completion schedule difficult to estimate.  We are very pleased to report that, based upon the resources committed to our community in the last 24 hours, we believe the repairs can be completed and power restored to the balance of the community by Tuesday evening at the latest.  Depending on the location, certain buildings currently without power may have electricity sooner. We realize these additional delays are frustrating, but we urge everyone to remain patient and respect the fact that resident safety must remain a priority.

Some residents have inquired about the possibility of having generators supply power to those buildings currently without power.  Please note that temporary generators would need to run electrical current through the same damaged equipment that has delayed the ConEd restoration of power and, therefore, are equally unsafe.

For residents who are finding that parts of their apartments do not seem to have power, please check your circuit panel and ensure that all switches are reset properly.

Gas Service: During the storm, Con Edison and the FDNY ordered the shut down of gas service to several buildings and we anticipate having gas service restored within 2 weeks, depending on their location.

For the buildings with gas meters damaged by the flood waters located in nine buildings in Peter Cooper Village the assessment remains the same as provided yesterday.  Because of the damage to these meters, gas service to these locations may be shut down.  If that occurs it will likely require approximately two weeks to restore gas service. We are further assessing and will report back as soon as the information becomes available.

Elevator Service: Elevator service was restored in all buildings which have power. The four passenger elevators damaged by the flood waters in Peter Cooper Village which we mentioned yesterday will take additional time to repair.  Both of the elevators in 7 Peter Cooper Road were damaged and will have one elevator restored within one week after power is restored and the second elevator will be repaired within two weeks after power is restored. The other two damaged elevators in 8 Peter Cooper Road and 440 East 23rd Street will be repaired in two weeks after power is restored; these buildings will have one elevator operating while we restore service to the damaged elevator car once both buildings regain electric service.

Heating Center: The Community Center has been set up as a heating center for elderly residents and will be open daily from 8am to 10pm.

Resident Check-Ins: Thanks once again to the help of our volunteers, we were able to check in on all residents in buildings without power today, November 3, and food was delivered to elderly residents in those buildings.

Playgrounds:  We were able to open additional playgrounds today. The following playgrounds have been reopened: In Stuyvesant Town – 1, 7, 8, 9 and 12. In PCV 2 and 3 are open.

Security: We continue to have additional Public Safety staff on-site, and particularly in the buildings without power. Over the past five days, our Public Safety team were able to assist with over 500 wellness checks requested by concerned relatives and neighbors, 207 tenant evacuations, 112 calls related to gas orders, 68 apartment lock-outs, 38 elevator entrapments, and aided in 28 situations where people were removed to hospitals, among other emergency-related activities.  We would like to thank our public safety officers for their exceptional efforts during this difficult time.

We would like to remind you that Public Safety is now headquartered at the former Oval Film space. In case of emergency only, please call (347) 680-2212. For all other inquiries, please continue to go to Resident Services at Oval Café or call (888) 885-8490.

Laundry Service: Laundry Service has been restored to all buildings where electricity service has been restored, though certain buildings will only have cold water available. We will provide you with updates regarding restoration of laundry service in buildings where laundry machines were damaged. Oval Concierge will be open to all residents for laundry drop-off on Sunday, November 4th from 10am to 5pm at the First Avenue Loop Road between buildings 276 and 274. Please note that they only accept credit card payment.

Garages: Quik Park has advised us that they expect Garages 2, 4 and 5 to be open early this week.  Significant amounts of debris were washed into these areas during the flood and these additional delays are due to the time required to remove this debris.  Owners of cars located in these garages should assume that their vehicles have suffered extensive damage and act accordingly with respect to their insurance carriers.   Garages 1 and 6 are open. Garage 3 will be closed indefinitely. You can contact Quik Park directly to work out your accommodations. The Garage Manager will be available at Garage 1, located on 20th Street.

Amenity Spaces:  All amenity spaces have been closed indefinitely. Membership billing has been suspended indefinitely.

We will continue to update you regularly.

Status updates on electricity in each building can be viewed by clicking link to pcvst.com.