Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tenants PAC Fundraiser this Friday

This Friday, April 27 - a Tenants PAC fundraiser (see below).

Tuesday, May 1 - The Rent Guidelines Board holds a preliminary vote, and tenants - the 99% - join Occupy Wall Street in a "Tenants General Assembly" outside the hearing space at 5 PM.  Cooper Union's Great Hall, 7 E. 7th St. (3rd Ave.) - and consider going in to testify!



Meet Assembly Member George Latimer at Friday's event.  He will be running for  an open State Senate seat against a Republican New York City  landlord.  

Help Tenants PAC raise the maximum to  support A.M. Latimer and other pro-tenant candidates!


Buffet dinner and great jazz!

Time: 7 PM
Place: Musician's Union, Local 802, 322 West 48th St. (between 8th and 9th Avenues) in Manhattan

Click here for the flyer to share with friends. 


great jazz trio performing for you, courtesy of Local 802: 



Vito Leschak on drums 
and the fabulous Bob Cranshaw on bass (right)

You can send your contribution to 

Tenants PAC 
277 Broadway, Suite 608
New York NY 10007

Or you can make contributions (including recurring ones) at www.tenantspac.org. Donations are not tax deductible.

RSVPs requested but not necessary!

Email RSVPs to action@tenantspac.org or call (212) 577-7001.

Monday, April 23, 2012

US Supreme Ct. rejects challenge to rent regulations.

The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear landlord James Harmon's case challenging rent regulation in New York.  Harmon had already lost at the lower two federal court levels.  

That leaves New York's rent laws intact - and lets us focus on fighting to strengthen rent regulation and with luck to get more market-rate tenants back into it.

See the NY Times and Bloomberg.com articles about the case. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Jewish Home construction??

Jewish Home Lifecare wants to move from 106th Street to 97th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.   Of late: 
  • The City Planning Commission overrode objections from Community Board 7and granted permission to Jewish Home Lifecare to build a 20-ish story building in what is now the parking lot of Park West Village between Whole Foods and P.S. 163 - assuming JHL gets the proper other permits.
  • The Park West Village Tenant Association won the first step of a lawsuit against JHL for the loss of PWVTA's parking lot - and the ability to park right in front of one's home.  The PWVTA needs to raise $75,000 as a bond to pursue the suit.
  • Westsiders for Public Participation, Inc. just wrote a letter to the state's health commissioner urging that its permit for JHL's move be denied for lack of community involvement - and the effort to keep the community in the dark. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Summary of April 18 2012 Meeting with Stellar

RENT BILLSSmajlje will try to get rent bills to tenants a day or two earlier, possibly by having them delivered by hand in the building (as used to be done).  He asserted that the delay was integrating delayed Con Ed information into the rent bills.

Smajlje stated that NO tenant would face legal consequences for paying the April 2012 bill late as long as it was paid within the month of April.  There are, of course, no “late fees” for rent stabilized tenants in this building, although market-rate tenants may be subject to them.

II.            LEASE CORRECTION:  Although all rent stabilized tenants had a permanent MCI increase added to their bills in April 2011, a few tenants in this building found that Stellar added that amount AGAIN on their lease renewals.  Smajlje said those lease renewals would be reviewed and corrected. 

BUILDING ISSUES
·      Repair procedure (reaffirmed) : Tenants who need a repair should write it in the book at the guard's desk in the lobby.  If the repair is not made within a week, tenants should telephone Stellar's local office.  These repairs include closet rollers to repair the doors, and decayed silicon around the posts holding the balcony railings.

·      Community Room tables and chairs: Stellar will purchase two more tables and ten chairs for the Community Room.  PLEASE DO NOT BORROW THEM from the Community Room.  Tenants using the room need all the chairs and tables they can get.  So the chairs and tables will be kept in the locked closet; the guard will have the keys.  

·       Compactor Rooms: New signs have been posted. Tenants are urged to follow them.

·       Elevators:
o   Stellar has notified the repair company of the complaints reported

o   Smajlje said they would work on refinishing the elevators whose current surface looks dirty all the time.

o   Stellar will place a “lobby” notice opposite the elevators on the ground floor.

·      Intercom: The list will be reformatted so that every tenant named on the lease is listed in alphabetical order – and not as it now is, with the name of their apartment-mate earlier in the alphabet.
 
·      Hallway carpets: The building has just bought new vacuum cleaners for the maintenance staff to use.  That may keep the hallway carpets cleaner.

·      Hallway exit signs: Stellar will not change them for higher or smaller signs. Watch your head.

·      Laundry Room:

o   There is now a recycle bin and a garbage bin.  Please only put recyclable materials in the recycle bin.
o   The machines will be replaced when the contract with Coinmach expires in August 2015.  In the meantime, Coinmach will service the machines monthly in addition to coming to make repairs.  Please call Coinmach to report break-downs and to get refunds, or write the problem in the book at the guard’s desk.

·         

     Plantings:  Stellar will shortly plant flowers around each tree in front of the building.

·      Tenants to Meet Smajlje: Smajlje said he would provide coffee and donuts  (not from the building fund) for a get-together with tenants in order to hear what individual tenants want to tell him about the building.  Date to be set later.

The Tenant Association is scheduled to meet monthly with Lu Pedraza, and every two months with Lu and Smajlje.  Our next meeting with Lu is scheduled for Wednesday, May 16 at 11 AM, and the next meeting with both Smajlje and Lu is scheduled for Wednesday, June 13 at 11 AM, all in the Community Room.  Send us your concerns!

Our next General Tenants Meeting will be WEDNESDAY, MAY 16 at 8 PM in the Community Room.  Bring a chair and a neighbor!

-       The Executive Committee
Sue Susman, sue.susman [@    sign] gmail [dot] com
Na’ava Ades, naavaa [ "at" sign] gmail [use a "dot"] 
Greg Murray, geeemurr  [type an @] aol [type a period] com
Steve Koulish, eskoolman[ "at" sign   ] yahoo[ .   ] com
Joan Browne, jbbrownefaison [ @ symbol ] att [put in a dot] net
Richard Jordan, Richj214["at"   sign] aol [ dot symbol]  com

Monday, April 9, 2012

Jewish Home construction permission delayed

Douglas Kessel / Senior Staff Photographer
Columbia SpectatorColumbia Daily Spectator
Injunction could halt plans for Jewish Home Lifecare relocation
In at least a temporary victory for Park West Village tenants, a judge agreed to an injunction preventing any modification of the parking lot that the nursing home plans to relocate to.
By Casey TolanSpectator Senior Staff WriterPublished April 9, 2012

Jewish Home Lifecare faces another hurdle in its plans to build a 20-story nursing home on the Upper West Side after neighbors on Thursday secured a temporary injunction against plans to relocate their parking.

The nursing home organization wants to move from its current location on 106th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues to a new site on 97th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues—on a parking lot in the middle of the Park West Village housing complex.

The injunction hinges on the parking lot. Once construction on the lot began, Park West Village residents would have to park in an underground garage around the block, on Columbus Avenue between 97th and 98th streets.

But residents argued that the aboveground lot was guaranteed as an ancillary service under the state Rent Stabilization Code, which means that it cannot be modified without approval from the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal.

Click here for the rest of the article. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter and Passover to all

At this time when many groups celebrate rebirth and freedom from oppression, let's enjoy the diverse, and supportive community that keeps us strong. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Calculate the Percentage MCI increase if it applies to you

IF you are rent stabilized, you may have gotten an "MCI retro" increase on your April 2012 bill.  
(It does not apply to SCRIE and DRIE tenants.)

You would NOT get that if you paid the "retroactive" MCI amount in full a year ago.

If you got such an increase on your April bill, check the figures:


1. Look at the "MCI retro" amount on your MARCH 2012 bill.  Multiply that number by 12.  That's how much you've paid so far of the total of total MCI retroactive amount.  (Scroll down on this page to see the amount for a 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom apartment.)


2. Then look at what your BASE RENT (not including any "MCI retro" amount) on your MARCH 2012 bill.  Multiply that amount by 0.06 to get the 6% increase that Stellar is allowed to impose until you've finished paying off the full retroactive amount. 

If that figure does not match what is on your APRIL 2012 rent bill, call Stellar Management and ask about it.