POSTPONED: L Train Community Workshop

Thursday, February 9, 2017; 7 p.m.–9 p.m. 

Town and Village Synagogue 

334 East 14th St. 

The MTA and the NYC Dept. of Transportation are holding an interactive community workshop for residents of the east side of Manhattan about the L train closure. The agencies will provide information on the Canarsie Tunnel repairs and solicit community feedback on possible alternate travel options during the planned 18-month closure.

Read the press release.

See the letter from various elected officials to the MTA and DOT.

 


East Side Coastal Resiliency

The plan to keep us dry in the next superstorm and enhance the public waterfront.

Community Design Update Presentations

East 14th St. to East 25th St. (Project Area Two)

Monday, November 28, 2016

6:30–8:00 p.m.

Washington Irving High School

40 Irving Place (17th St.)

 

Montgomery St. to East Houston St. (Project Area One South)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

6:30–8:30 p.m.

Gouverneur Health Center

227 Madison St.

 

East Houston St. to East 14th St. (Project Area One North)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

6:30–8:30 p.m.

Cornerstone Community Center at Campos Plaza

611 East 13th St.

Wheelchair accessible. Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese interpreters will be present at the community design update presentations. A Fujianese interpreter will be present on December 1. Dinner will be provided. For special needs assistance, please contact Fay Lee at (718) 391-2411 or leefa@ddc.nyc.gov five days before the event.


Video Intercom MCI for 10 PCV Buildings

The TA is going to fight this blow to your budget, so please follow the instructions below. If you’re not yet a member, please join now.

Within 30 days of the mailing date on the MCI notice, here is what we need you to do by filling out page 3 of the MCI notice—the Tenant Response form:

1. Print your name where indicated on top.

2. In the open space, write the following:

I request a 60-day extension of time to respond to the MCI application dated [fill in mailing date from top right corner]. I understand that DHCR is not always able to provide a written response to an extension request. Therefore, unless I hear otherwise, I will assume that this request has been granted.

Thank you for your courtesies in this matter.

3. Sign and date the form on the bottom.

4. Make 2 copies of the form. Keep one copy for your records. Send the other copy to the TA by mail (Video intercom MCI, P.O. Box 1202, NYC 10009-1202) or by placing it in one of our drop boxes (Community Center, Oval Concierge, or Zeichner’s Wines & Liquors).

5. Mail the original of just the response form to the MCI Unit at the address on the top of the form. Keep the original of the MCI notice (pages 1 and 2) for your records.

6. Spread the word to your affected neighbors who are longtime tenants (see list of buildings below).

REMINDER: TA member dues pay for our attorney. If you are not already a member, won’t you participate and help defray the expense by joining now? You can donate securely online at stpcvta.org/donate.

WHAT ELSE WE NEED: If you kept copies of management’s handouts from the 2001/02 intercom installation, please send us a copy. If you have any other documentation, such as management’s wall post announcing the new system or a work ticket from the 2014 installation, we will add that to the file.

AFFECTED BUILDINGS: 420 E 23, 440 E 23, 350 First, 360 First, 370 First, 390 First, 2 PCR, 3 PCR, 431 E 20, 441 E 20.

Once you’ve filled out and returned the Tenant Response form, the TA and its attorney will take over, but we also need a copy of your MCI notice (pages 1 & 2). You may place a copy (not the original—save that for your records) in one of our drop boxes or mail it to us (see item 4 above).

If you’ve received a notice, tell us about it by using our short MCI docket tracker found here.


Announcing Results of Our Management Survey

This summer, the Tenants Association sponsored a survey to residents to provide an independent assessment of the performance of Blackstone’s new management and to find critical areas where we can work to improve quality of life in the community.

View Survey Summary

View Comment Categories

View Individual Comments

Read more

Mount Sinai Beth Israel—July 13 Meeting About Restructuring

Beth Israel has been an important go-to medical center for Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village residents for decades. To better serve the community in keeping with modern medical practices, the Mount Sinai Health System is investing $500 million to create an expanded network of state-of-the-art facilities river to river below 34th Street.

However, this investment involves downsizing the current hospital at 16th Street and First Avenue.

  • The number of beds will go from 825 to 70.

  • A new hospital with inpatient beds, procedure and operating rooms, and new emergency room will be constructed at 13th Street and Second Avenue.

  • The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary will be modernized and expanded.

  • Certain procedures now offered will not be available at the new facility.

There are reasons for the restructuring, but you need to know what, why, when, where, and how.  

The STPCV Tenants Association has arranged for a presentation by MSBIMC specifically for our residents.

Date: Wednesday, July 13

Time6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.

Where: Podell Auditorium, the Bernstein Building, 1 Nathan D. Perlman Place (one block west of First Avenue), between 15th and 16th Streets.


Membership Dues Are Changing

After much consideration, the TA board of directors has decided it’s necessary to raise our annual dues. As of July 1, 2016, Tenants Association dues will be $50 a year per apartment, and $25 a year per apartment for our neighbors on SCRIE or DRIE.

Another change: The membership period will be from January 1 through December 31, not one year from when you pay.

We did not make this decision lightly, but we anticipate that this new system will allow us to save precious dollars on multiple renewal mailings throughout the year. It should also help you keep track of your membership.

If you’ve already renewed your membership this year, you’re good for the rest of 2016. In December you’ll be asked to renew for 2017 at the new rate.

If you renew or join between July 1 and December 31, 2016, your membership will extend through December 31, 2017. That’s a bonus of up to six extra months. Your next renewal will be on January 1, 2018.

Why the increase? Why now? We have held dues steady for years. Even though board members and volunteers don’t get paid, we do have some heavy expenses, and their costs have gone up.  

Legal fees—our biggest expense—pay for the heavy work our tenant-law attorney puts into challenging MCIs, loss of services, and other matters that have often saved tenants big bucks. And we know more MCIs are on the way.

Communications—printing of bulletins, flyers, banners, ads, promotional material, and postage—cost money.

Our Message Center and website cost money.

Our database costs (we switched to a more user-friendly one this year), rental of venues for meetings and buses to Albany cost—all to the tune of many thousands of dollars a year. And membership dues contribute virtually every nickel we pay.

Our goal is to get all members on the same renewal schedule, but we realize that those who responded to our renewal letter in March 2016 may feel they are getting fewer months of membership for their dollars. We hope you’ll consider the extra dollars ($2.92 for each missed month) an additional contribution to your TA.


RGB Hearing, Monday, June 20: Demand a Rent Rollback or at Least a Freeze

Landlords’ costs went down this year, but will tenants will see that in their rent?

It’s time for a rent rollback or at least a freeze. Except for last year, when one-year renewal leases got a freeze, landlords have always been able to jack up the rents—even as much as 8.5% during the height of the recession.

Tenants have to demand a fair decision from the Rent Guidelines Board.

  • Net operating income for owners has gone up 10 years in a row.
  • Landlords’ average net operating income went up 3.5 % from 2013 to 2014.
  • Rental income increased by 4.8% and total income rose 4.9%.

And too many of us are paying more than 35% of our income to rent.

On Monday, June 20, you can tell your story directly to the people who set the increases. In two minutes or less, speak in person about why tenants finally deserve a break.

You don’t have to go far: the RGB is meeting in Cooper Union’s Great Hall, 7th Street and Third Avenue, 2 p.m.–8 p.m.

Public speaking make you nervous? Can’t get there? You can submit your thoughts by email, letter, or fax. Or just come to the hearing to support other tenants.

The RGB will take its final vote on Monday, June 27.


Tenant Town Hall, June 2: Stop Excessive Rent Hikes for Tenants Paying Market-Rate Rents

If you’re paying a preferential rent—less than the maximum legal rent—you can get hit with a HUGE increase when it’s time to renew your lease: hundreds of dollars more a month—all the way up to the legal rent.

The Real Rent Reform (R3) coalition is asking legislators to sign on as sponsors of existing bills limiting renewal increases to preferential rents if they haven’t already. Can the bills get passed before the session ends on June 16? Only if the State Senate cooperates.

But we’re keeping up the pressure. Sure, the rent laws got renewed last year, but tenants need much more relief.

Our big ask: Get rid of the preferential rent loophole. Make rent increases affordable.

You’re welcome to join the members of the TA board of directors heading north on June 2, but if you can’t, here’s how you can help.

Tell us your story:

  • Did you face a humongous rent increase when it was time to renew?
  • Do you know someone who did?
  • Did you have to make serious changes to your lifestyle?
  • Are you forced to move out, disrupting your life and leaving a community you wanted to put down roots in?

We’ll present your story at the meeting (no names mentioned!) to bolster the case for this legislation. You can fill out the form at stpcvta.org/contact_us or PM us on our Facebook page. Or tell your story at #PreferentialScam

And finally, why the Bronx? That’s where Carl Heastie, Democratic Speaker of the Assembly is from, and the meeting is four blocks from his district. The Bronx is also home turf to State Senator Jeff Klein, leader of the Democrats who vote with the Republicans and against the interests of tenants.

Citywide Tenant Town Hall, June 2, 6 p.m.–9 p.m.
2448 White Plains Road in the True Witness Shiloh Apostolic Church. Take the 2 train to Allerton Avenue and walk one block.


Tenants Association Announces Election Results

At the Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association’s Annual Meeting, held May 14, 2016, Al Doyle, Chair of the Nominating Committee, announced the election of six directors to the TA’s board. Kirstin Aadahl, Soni Holman Fink, and Steven Newmark, all incumbents, were reelected, and new candidates Matt Arden, Gary Ireland, and Keith Powers will join the board. “We congratulate the newly elected board members, incumbents and newcomers alike,” said Al Doyle. “Their energy, commitment, and skills will help the Tenants Association keep serving the community.”

Kirstin Aadahl, Secretary of the TA, serves on the TA’s Communications and Quality of Life/Maintenance Committees and responds to tenants who reach out to the TA electronically. In May 2014, when CWCapital issued midlease rent increases to Roberts tenants, Kirstin coordinated demonstrations against the increases. She was a featured speaker at the rally at City Hall in June 2014 against a predatory lender purchasing STPCV, and consistently participates in demonstrations to strengthen rent laws. An eight-year Stuyvesant Town resident with her husband and daughter, Kirstin was a special-education teacher for 14 years, recently completed a two-year term as PTA co-president at P.S. 40, and now works at the Third Street Music School Settlement.

Matt Arden has been a resident of Stuyvesant Town since 2011. Prior to moving to New York City, he lived in Atlanta, where he held many civic posts, including president of the Kirkwood Neighbors Organization representing over 11,000 residents to the City Council. A board member for People TV, Matt served as executive director of Shoot Film Not Guns, a nonprofit providing media training to at-risk youth. He currently holds a board position with the Virginia Tech Pamplin School of Business and is employed as the senior vice president and executive creative officer at Screenvision Media, an advertising company headquartered in New York.

Soni Holman Fink has been active in Tenants Association communications since 2000, joining the board in 2001. During her tenure as chair of the Communications Committee, Soni issued scores of flyers, bulletins, informational advisories, and notices. A Peter Cooper Village resident since 1961, she was a reporter, feature writer, columnist, and editor for several magazines and Women's Wear Daily. After time out for child-rearing, she worked in public relations for Macmillan, Inc. As a freelance, she created and wrote newsletters for Volkswagen of America and other clients.

Gary Ireland has lived in Stuytown for 23 years with his wife, Nancy, and children, Bryan and Sydney. Gary is an employment attorney representing both workers and his entrepreneurial clients. His long history of activism includes working with the NAACP and with NOW to eliminate institutional gender bias in the workplace, and volunteering with the Jan Hus Church Homeless Outreach Program. Active in scouting, Gary is a leader with Troop 414 at Immaculate Conception Church, where son Bryan earned the Eagle rank, and with Scouts Canada, where daughter Sydney recently earned the Chief Scout’s Award. Gary is eager to work with our community to support positive change.

Steve Newmark has dedicated himself to the Tenants Association since first moving to Stuyvesant Town 10 years ago. He immediately engaged with the TA, spearheading organizing around both the Roberts (J-51) lawsuit and the Tishman default. He has served on the board’s Communications and Nominating Committees and presently chairs the Legal Committee. Steve provides valuable insights from his prior work as an attorney representing tenants and also as a tenant with two young children who hopes for a long, bright future in the community for his family. He looks forward to continuing his service to the TA as it enters a new phase with a new owner.

Keith Powers is a third-generation resident of ST/PCV, his family having resided in the neighborhood since 1947. Active in the community, Keith serves or has served in various capacities and organizations, such as Community Board 6, Democratic District Leader, board member of Kips Bay Neighborhood Association, and member of the Eleanor Roosevelt and Tilden Democratic Clubs. Currently a vice president at Constantinople & Vallone Consulting, he previously worked for Assembly Member Jonathan Bing and State Senator Liz Krueger. During the 2006 sale of ST/PCV, he assisted with the TA’s effort to organize tenants to put in a bid on the property.


Rent Rollback Hopes Dashed by RGB Preliminary Vote

Despite a significant showing of rent-regulated tenants from all five boroughs demonstrating in favor of a rent rollback, the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) has voted for increases as follows for leases starting or renewing on October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017:

One-year lease: 0%–2.0%

Two-year lease: 0.5%–3.5%

The tenant members of the RGB—Harvey Epstein and Sheila Garcia—eloquently expressed how tenants had consistently been providing landlords windfall profits during economic downturns. Also, given the housing crisis in the city and the city’s data showing landlords’ operating costs decreased, it was time to balance 46 years of RGB history by giving a rollback, they said.

For leases with preferential rents (lower than the maximum legal rent), these increases are added to the maximum legal rent. The preferential rent will continue to be determined by the owner.

The usual game played out at the meeting. The tenant members proposed a –4% to 0% increase for a one-year lease and –2% to 0% for a two-year lease. The proposal failed. Owner members proposed 4% for a one-year lease and 6.75% for a two-year lease, and the proposal failed. Finally, the chair proposed the ranges stated above. This passed, but with resounding no votes from the tenant members. The two owner members also voted no.

Tenants have the opportunity to testify in favor of a zero increase for both one and two years on Monday, June 20, 2016, at the Great Hall, Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street (corner of Third Avenue), 2:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.

The final vote will be held on Monday, June 27, at the Great Hall, Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street (corner of Third Avenue) at 6:30 p.m.

Members of the public wishing to communicate their views to the RGB may do so via two methods:

  1. Testify in person at hearings (three minutes maximum).

  2. Submit your views in writing by addressing them to the Chair, or any Board member, c/o NYC Rent Guidelines Board, 1 Centre St., Suite 2210, New York, NY 10007, or by email to chair@nycrgb.org.