Friday, March 22, 2024

Summary of March 13, 2024 "Good to Know!" Tenant Meeting

We began with a moment of silence for Lueader Booker a long-time tenant who died on February 18th. 

  1. Join our ShapeUp NYC free class on Tuesdays at 6 PM in the Community Room.  All tenants welcome. 
  2. Get your recipe ready for our annual Pot Luck on Saturday, June 1, 2024.

And it's Good to Know . . . 

I. COMPOSTING - Why? How? 

What to Compost

The City will pick up ALL leaf and yard waste, food scraps, and food-soiled paper. This includes meat, bones, dairy, prepared foods, and greasy uncoated paper plates and pizza boxes.

What Not to Compost

Do not compost trash such as diapers, personal hygiene products, animal waste, wrappers, non-paper packaging, and foam products.

Do not compost recyclable materials. Learn more about what to recycle.

Hillary Bosch, outreach coordinator for the NYC Department of Sanitation spoke and we learned a lot. Did you know:
  • It's ok (though not preferred) if you throw your food scraps WITH THEIR PLASTIC BAG into the compost bins on the ground floor?  The Department of Sanitation has machines that can separate plastic bags from the compostable scraps.
  • The landlord can use any lidded container under 55 gallons that is clearly marked for compost scraps. So we're not stuck with the ones that are so hard to open and seal properly.  We've asked for some easier-to-use containers. 
  • All our food and plant scraps become a substitute for liquid natural gas to  heat city buildings!  There's an anaerobic (no oxygen) digester in Brooklyn that turns all of our food and plant waste into fuel to heat homes and other buildings! So unlike some plastics that aren't really recycled and end up shipped elsewhere, every bit of our food and plant waste gets used.
Save your scraps in a container (on your kitchen counter, in your fridge or freezer) and empty them into the compost bins in the ground floor compactor room next to the elevators on your side of the building.   That's waste that doesn't go into our landfills, doesn't attract vermin,  and does go to good use!


Jean Schmidt, president of Bloomingdale Aging in Place, spoke about that volunteer program.  

There's a group for anyone who wants to get involved - from knitting to tennis to theater or dinner outings to softball teams to exercise classes (or start your own) as well as free lectures and webinars ("BAiP presents") on Zoom. 

There are also a recommendations list for doctors and handymen/women, as well as a tech squad to help you with computer issues.  

You can find neighbors to help you get to and from the doctor or to keep you company - and you can volunteer to do that for others.  And it's all free.  Anyone in this neighborhood can join for free, regardless of age. 


The legislature and Governor Kathy Hochul are discussing (arguing about) the April 1st budget. 

Landlords are exploiting their own warehousing of affordable, rent-stabilized apartments by insisting they must get a huge rent increase when a long-occupied apartment becomes vacant.  Claiming that those apartments are all too dilapidated to rent and need huge sums of money to bring back to habitability, they're demanding a big rent increase for a unit now vacant that was occupied for 10 years or more.  Of course, they're not answering WHY or HOW apartments in bad condition got that way:  landlord speculation and neglect. (Few tenants want to live in squalor.) 

So landlords are trying to bring back (under a new name) the "vacancy bonus" that they used to get and that was ended by the 2019 Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act.  But:
  • Many of the warehoused units are not dilapidated, and don't need huge investments to make them habitable.
  • Landlords are demanding a "vacancy reset" bill S6352/A6772 - but that bill only makes the problem worse. 
    • It would give landlords an increase but require no repairs or upgrades at all.
    • It would give big real estate and small mom-and-pop landlords the same increases, regardless of need. 
    • It would paint a target on the backs of all long-term tenants as landlords would want them out in order to get a big rent increase. 
While that bill may not pass, it could lead Albany to say "We'll just allow a higher increase for individual apartment improvements." (Under the 2019 law, that's limited to $15,000 - or an $83 rent increase - over 15 years.)  We don't want ANY more increases in our rents!

So please CONTACT GOV. HOCHUL to tell her to 

  •  "Good Cause Eviction" (to protect market-rate tenants from eviction, huge increases and refusal to renew leases unless the landlord can show good cause)
  • Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) giving tenants the first right to purchase their building - with financial and other support from a non-profit organization and the government - if the landlord decides to sell
  • Housing Vouchers from the state for poor people who need them (on top of the scarce federal Section 8 vouchers)
  • Social Housing - like the Mitchell-Lama we once were - to build more for low- and middle-income people, and
VETO S6352/A6772 and any further rent increase for Individual Apartment Improvements.

Our next tenant meeting will be mid-May, followed by our Pot Luck Party!  
Stay safe, and enjoy the Spring!