It's been a long road for all parties involved with the conversion
of Westview and Island House, for the Owner, State and Tenants alike and we
look forward to the prospect of concluding our agreement soon. In our case here
in Westview, most of the groundwork for an agreement has already been
determined by terms negotiated between the Owner and State for Island House as
they relate to ground lease, real estate taxes, and continued affordability
plan. As a matter of fact we have agreed, with very minor concessions, to
almost all of the Owner's initial proposal and have only a few items left to
resolve. These include:
Reducing monthly maintenance
post conversion currently projected to be near what we now pay in rent by
refinancing our mortgage equal to that of Island House (This even though our
current debt is significantly less that IH yet Owners propose a much higher
mortgage refinancing for Westview).
Inclusion of language
proposed by our lawyers to strengthen the Owners commitment to convert the
Develop a phased in approach
to future rent increases associated with the building conversion.
Revise the Westview proposal
to correct deficiencies recently found by the NYS Attorney General in the IH
For us these points are very significant because they affect our
livelihood and ability to continue to live in our homes. In the grand scheme
they should be relatively minor for the Owners considering we have already
agreed to 90% of the current proposal, again with very minor concessions.
Over the past few months the Taskforce has been actively meeting
with HCR (formerly DHCR) and engaged our political representatives including
State Senator Jose Serrano's office to discuss concerns raised by tenants
including status of our negotiations, service levels in the building as a
component of rents paid particularly as it relates to ongoing pool repairs, and
concerns raised by many tenants regarding vacancies. As recently as this past
week we met once again with Rich McCurnin at HCR who committed to helping
facilitate our next meeting with the Owners. We are hopeful that this meeting
will happen soon and are prepared to conclude these negotiations quickly
pending the outcome of these discussions. We firmly believe that finalizing our
agreement now is in everyone's best interest.
Additionally, our legal team is actively engaged in all phases of
our conversion efforts.
While all of us had
expected the pool to re-open in September of 2013 after almost a year of
repairs, the closure has been extended again.
We were informed by
management that after filling the pool last month, a new leak was discovered
under the pool basin. This necessary repair work is quit extensive and will
take time. Additionally there was water damage to some of the new work that had
been completed due to flooding caused by a broken pipe in the former Grog shop
- the pipe broken due to freezing conditions as the heat had been turned off in
the space during our last spell of sub-zero weather. We hope that Management
will identify the proper contractor and have this issue resolved quickly. If
you would like to contact RY for details and specific dates - feel free to send
your inquiries to Ms. Sheila Redula at sredula@RYmanagement.com.
Task Force recently received reports that several residents of Island
House were issued eviction notices. The cited ground for the notices
were allegations that the residents were not Bona Fide tenants as specified in
the IH agreement, meaning that they have primary residences elsewhere and
therefore do not qualify to participate in the plan. The tenants involved,
numbering approximately 15, have hired a joint lawyer for their defense. We can
expect a similar inquiry here in Westview as we move forward with our
you all for your continued support.
We look forward to seeing
everyone at our upcoming membership
on Wednesday, February 26 at
8:00PM in the Lower Community Room.