June 27, 2013 Leave a comment
Tenants have been trying to get their voices heard by Stabilis Capital, the mortgage holder on their distressed buildings in Ridgewood, Queens and Hunts Point, Bronx (among others). Stabilis has been purchasing mortgage notes on buildings like these throughout New York City, and it’s time to determine what their plans are for the buildings. Will Stabilis take responsibility for the mortgages they’ve purchased? Will they ensure that the the next owners of the properties will be more responsible than the last? Or will they sell the buildings to the highest bidder, with no concern for the tenants who currently suffer in unhealthy living conditions?
Tenants from Ridgewood and Hunts Point have written to Stabilis to express who they want to be the next owner of their buildings. In both cases, tenants demand that a major rehabilitation is completed, and the buildings remain affordable for current residents. We hope that this meeting is productive, and that the tenants’ voices will be heard!
Here is the letter from tenants from Hunts Point:
We are tenants living at 836 Faile St. As you may be aware, our building is in foreclosure and is in horrible condition. There are currently 146 violations recorded with HPD on 36 units, and over 1/3 of the building is vacant. We suffer with rats, mold, leaks, plumbing issues, bed bugs, and more. Tenants are reluctant to call HPD due to the threats of the landlord and the workers towards us.
We are writing to ask that you sell our building to an HPD approved developer with the experience and commitment to rehabilitate our building. We are working with Getz Obstfeld from Community Development Inc. who has made an offer to you for the building. He has completed a scope of work, is working with HPD, and has detailed plans to bring the building into good condition.
We cannot continue to live like this. Our neighbors and children suffer from asthma, which is only worsened by the rats and mold. We live without adequate security and feel unsafe in our own homes. Please sell the building at a responsible price to a developer who will preserve our homes for the long term.
Here is the letter from tenants in Ridgewood, Queens:
We are tenants living at 1821 and 1896 Cornelia Street, 1726, 1675 and 1673 Woodbine, and 18-14 Linden Street. As you are aware, the mortgage on our building is severely overleveraged, the owner is in bankruptcy, and conditions in our homes are terrible. There are currently over 550 HPD code violations on the 36 units. We suffer from rats, mold, leaks, and both negligence and harassment from the management company. The few repairs that have been made have mostly come from HPD intervention.
We are writing to ask that you sell our buildings to an HPD approved developer with the experience and commitment to rehabilitate them. Because we are have maintained our buildings on our own for so long, we have identified a mutual housing group which would allow our Tenant Association to remain involved and in charge of the buildings. We are working with Ken Wray at Community Assisted Tenant Controlled Housing (CATCH). CATCH has completed a Capital Needs Assessment of our properties and has determined they need over $2 million in repairs to keep them habitable and affordable for the long term.
We cannot continue to live like this. Our neighbors and children suffer from severe health problems, which are only worsened by the rats and mold. One of our members is suffering from cancer and associated chemotherapy treatments; the conditions in our homes threaten her weakened immune system.
We understand that you are meeting with our elected officials on Monday, July 1st to discuss your plans for these buildings. We sincerely hope that CATCH’s forthcoming offer will be on the agenda.