Looking Back, Looking Ahead—Happy New Year 2016
No one can say 2015 was uneventful.
It was the year of the Big Ugly omnibus bill in Albany—but the rent laws were renewed. It was the year of a historic 0% increase for lease renewals.
It was the year we saw a deserved decrease in our air-conditioning charges. And there was the spectacle of Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos being convicted in federal court.
The Tenants Association was working hard, and you were with us.
In the midst of the fight to renew the rent laws, we reached out to you on street corners and contacted every apartment, and you demonstrated and came to Albany with us. We held a special meeting to address the vexing problem of noise. We organized a petition drive to support a mainstay supermarket. We kept you informed about the East Coast Resiliency Project, 13th Precinct Community Council meetings, the proposed 25th Street sanitation garage, and free flu shots.
But the biggest event may be the sale of the property to Blackstone. The Tenants Association has worked hard for years to bring stability to our community. We are proud that our voice was heard and that we had a role in shaping the outcome. While not all our goals were achieved, our new landlord’s commitment to long-term ownership, preservation of 5,000 units as affordable for the next 20 years, setting limits on yearly increases for Roberts tenants, and maintaining the configuration and open space that have made our residential complex unique are all significant gains.
We’re encouraged by Blackstone’s open approach so far and hope by their policies and practices they will usher in a new era of good feeling in a well-run community. But the Tenants Association’s work is never done, and we intend to keep fighting for tenants.
We wish you a happy and a healthy New Year, and look forward to working with you and for you in the months ahead.
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