Thursday, September 19, 2013

Summary of General Tenants Meeting, 9/18/2013

ANNOUNCEMENTS


Tenant Patricia Jordan has been commended by Mayor Bloomberg and the NY City Council for her years of work for the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development.   

Right after Hurricane Sandy, she ran homeless shelters for displaced disabled people – above and beyond the call of duty.  (She’s also known for the fantastic sweet potatoes she’s made for our Pot Luck Suppers – and we hope she can make for the Nov. 9th Pot Luck this year.)


Please don’t leave umbrellas and other obstacles in the hallway where other tenants may trip over them when they leave their apartments.

MICE

 If you have mice in your apartment, sign up at the front desk for Stellar to send an exterminator to fill all holes and remove the mice. The exterminator comes one Wednesday and one Saturday each month. If he fails to show, contact building manager Lu Pedraza, 212-222-4430, lpedraza@stellarmanagement.com.  If that doesn’t help, call 311 and ask both HPD and the City’s Health Department to send inspectors.  Give the complaint reference numbers you get from 311 to the Tenant Association’s Executive Committee if even that doesn’t help.  (To do it yourself, fill all holes in the closets, under the sinks, etc. with steel wool, and buy a gadget – about $13 – that makes a high-pitched noise that critters hate.  No gadget if you have a pet - and please be willing to stop using it if the sound bothers other pets on your floor.)

MCI  - Rent stabilized tenants are now paying a permanent rent increase for the “Major Capital Improvements” of the renovated elevators and installation of submetering equipment. That becomes part of your base rent when lease renewal amounts are calculated.  We have paid all the retroactive money (from the date Stellar applied for the MCIs until we started paying them) that Stellar is allowed to charge so far.  If we win our appeal on the submetering equipment MCI, we’ll get all the money for that one back.  If we lose, we’ll have to pay some additional retroactive amount (likely around $40-$100).

Our annual POT LUCK DINNER will be in the Community Room on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 from 6-9 PM.  We need volunteers for : Entertainment, Children’s Corner, Set-up Crew, Door Greeters (who are responsible for taking money) , Food Managers , Supply Organizers, Flyers and signs and telephoning; Clean-up Crew.    Call Na’ava to volunteer: 212-666-9591.

FINANCES  - Treasurer Joan Browne reported and urged folks to contribute both dues ($10/apt.) and legal fund contributions.  Rosa Delgado will run a “Halloween Table” in the lobby from 1-6 pm on Saturday, Oct. 27.  Children will get candy, and adults can “treat” the tenant association with dues and legal fund contributions.  

JEWISH HOME LIFECARE PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION – The Sept. 17th meeting to go over what must be included in JHL’s state environmental report was standing-room only, with several elected officials,  and many neighbors including Rev. Heidi Neumark of Trinity Lutheran Church (on 100th St.) which will be affected.  Opponents contend the construction and then the facility itself will generate too much noise and traffic, as well as lead contamination (from breaking up the parking lot now there).   You can file your own views at dhfpdivoffice@health.state.ny.us.

CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE MARK LEVINE spoke, having won the Democratic primary for our 7th Council District.  He discussed the pros and cons of the JHL project, and then turned to affordable housing and education – crisis areas especially in our district. He wants to see all tenants in housing court entitled to a lawyer (right now only criminal defendants are).  
He expressed concern with the June 2015 sunset of rent stabilization as well as the fast decline in regulated apartments. He focused on the state vacancy decontrol law as the cause, and wants to work to get a better Rent Guidelines Board to determine city rents.   He also supports inclusionary zoning: developers could only build if half the apartments in that development are affordable. (Right now inclusionary zoning - for much less than 50% - is voluntary, and fewer than 2% of developers have done it under the 12 years of Mayor Bloomberg's administration.)
 In response to a question, he said that luxury housing for the Frederick Douglass and other public housing developments may still happen under a Mayor DeBlasio because of a severe federal funding shortfall – but that there would be resident input.
He noted that within our district there are virtually no desirable elementary or middle schools (there are PS 163 and Delta Middle School) and that requires Council attention.  He is hopeful that the new caucus of progressives in the City Council will be effective, and that we can vote in more pro-tenant candidates for the State Senate.

After the formal part of the meeting ended, we gathered for coffee and tea and finished off the desserts as we talked with Mr. Levine and each other.


Minutes taken by Na’ava Ades, summary prepared by the Executive Committee
-          Sue Susman, 212-866-1616, sue [ at sign followed by janak.org] 
-          Na’ava Ades, 212-666-9591, naava at sign after which gmail.com]
-          Joan Browne, 212-864-3612, jbbrownefaison [with @ and att dot net]
-          Rich Jordan, 212-866-1070, richj214  [and "at" followed by aol dot com]
-          Steve Koulish, 212-866-8280, yahoo dot com before eskoolman
-          Greg Murray, 212-866-3552, gregmurray866  at  gmail followed by dot com