Saturday, February 28, 2015

Join other tenants in Albany on Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tell your legislators how to strengthen the rent laws when they expire in June!   

Sign up with R3 for one of our three bus pick-ups:

  • 7 AM: Union Square  - 4th Ave, E 14th St, SE Corner, in front of Walgreens)
  • 7:30 AM: 96th and Broadway (Upper West Side)  - 2549 Broadway, in front of McDonald's.
  • 7:45 AM: 157th and Broadway (Washington Heights) - 157th and Broadway, SE corner of the street

RSVP on line or contact Yonah at 212-979-6238. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sign a petition - and let's get the NYS Assembly on our side

The NYS rent laws expire this June, 2015. Tell our lawmakers in Albany we need stronger laws to protect and preserve affordable housing - including putting market-rate apartments back into rent stabilization. 
We have already lost hundreds of thousands of rent stabilized and rent controlled units due to weak regulations -- we cannot afford to lose one more.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

NOISE - possible causes

Many tenants in the R,S, U and V lines have complained about late night banging or hammering, with the apparent sound of furniture being dragged across the floor. The sound seems to be coming from directly above their apartments, but tenants all the way upstairs hear the same noise.  Given the odd ways sound travels in this building, the sources may not be above any one tenant's head.  

Assuming no one in this building is both crazy and strong enough to drag furniture from 2 to 3 AM, or to cut onions on a chopping board at that hour, let alone re-sole their hobnail boots, there are a few reasonable sources.  

Some of the noise might come from air caught in the drains for a sink, washing machine, or dishwasher.  So we've asked the super to check the drains of apartments with those appliances.  

Another source of noise is a defective refrigerator motor - with the sound going on, loudly, for much of the time.  If you have that problem in your apartment, please fill out a repair slip at the guard’s desk in the lobby.

If there is night-time construction in the apartment next to yours, please let us know right away!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Proposed building behind east end of our building


Architects SLCE have released designs for a building set to replace three pre-war townhouses on 96th street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. The drawings, obtained by New York Yimby, show a building that will be about 22 floors, if you count the mega-penthouse on top.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Summary of Jan. 21, 2015 General Tenants Meeting

Notices: Electrical Submetering Rights

Our building has electrical submetering: we pay Stellar Management directly for electricity – including a monthly administrative fee. This January, Stellar sent each tenant a notice of our rights if there is a dispute about our submetering bill.  If you are a senior (62 or older) or disabled, or require electrical medical equipment in your home, you can protect yourself against Stellar shutting off the electricity in case of a dispute about billing.  Fill out the form, make a copy for yourself, and send the original by certified mail, return receipt requested, to Stellar’s office.  If you do not fit into any of the protected categories, just keep the notice.

Nick Prigo, Chair of Community Board 7’s Housing Committee, District Leader for the 69/B Assembly District, and a regular trainer for the 32BJ union’s Training Fund on green buildings, spoke to a full Community Room about what’s going on in our district.   Nick pointed out that while most tenants think of our apartments as homes and parts of a community,  landlords view our apartments as profit-making commodities.  That leads to a disconnect:  We need vacancy deregulation repealed so we can continue to have affordable apartments for the next generation, but landlords don’t want any rent regulation.

Nick spoke of Illegal hotels (such as many AirBnB rentals), a big issue in the Community
Board 7 area.  NY law bars anyone from renting out an apartment for under 30 days. (You’re allowed to rent out a room while you are present in the apartment, and you can have a roommate or family member live with you, and others stay with you for a few days.)  Roughly a third of AirBnB rentals in New York City are by owners – people who rent out many apartments and do it for their living.  Since that’s a lot more profitable than renting out apartments for a month or more, landlords are motivated to cheat.  Instead of renting vacant apartments for actual residents, owners often prefer to run the apartments as illegal hotels.   That means many fewer apartments available for those of us who actually live in NYC. 

If you notice LOTS of people coming in and out of an apartment on your floor – and no regular tenant living there, please let us know.

Nick also talked a bit about 421-a – a tax break that is supposed to foster the construction of affordable housing, but instead gives our tax money to millionaires to build luxury developments – with only a handful of affordable apartments to show for it.   The City has lost about $1.1 billion a year, and tax money has recently gone to billionaire developers.  (The Daily News says, “The feds are now probing how One57, an ultra-luxe Midtown building where the penthouse sold for $100 million, scored a tax break for $35 million.”)

The Community Board’s “land use” committee deals with construction and development, so you can contact them for information on the status of the conversion of the church on Central Park West between 96th and 97th Street to condos, and on the proposal to tear down 3 small buildings on West 96th Street next to the church and build a tall apartment tower.

$$  We encourage all tenants to join the Tenant Association ($10/apartment each year) and to contribute toward our legal funds as we try to make and keep this building affordable and a great community.  Contact your floor captain or treasurer Joan Browne to donate.


Got questions or suggestions?  Let us know! 

The Executive Committee

-          Sue Susman, president, sue  AT janak d o t   org
-          Na’ava Ades, vice president,  naavaa  (at)  gmail (dot)   com
-          Joan Browne, treasurer,  jbbrownefaison[ AT] att (dot  )net
-          Denis Hayward, vice president,  hayden {@} nyc{dot}rr{  dot}com
-          Rich Jordan, vice president,  richj214 aol  com
-          Steve Koulish,  eskoolman   AT  yahoo  D  O  T  com
-          Ray Von Dohren,  vondohren [@  ] Comcast[   d  o  t]net