As you are probably aware, over the past 18 months Westview
Taskforce has been intensively involved in discussions
related to the proposed exit from the Mitchel Lama
(ML) program. Our focus has been on a seamless transition to
affordable co-op while protecting rents and funding building
The fact that Westview's Ownership structure is different than
Island House (IH) plus some internal conflicts and rift among
Westview's shareholders themselves has not make this process an easy one. We have made significant progress on some issues but a
number of other important matters are still outstanding.
For example: Just a few months ago the WV Owners
shifted their position on the level of the initial rent
increase they wish to implement. While
at IH, the Owners were authorized by DHCR to increase
rents by 5% initially, for WV
Owners suddenly proposed a double digit initial rent hike
upon exiting from Mitchel-Lama.
notified the state agency overseeing
this process, DHCR, now known as HCR, and in July HCR
Assistant Commissioner McCurnin sponsored a three-way meeting at
his office with Owners, WTI and our attorneys present. In addition
to the rent increase issue, there were 2 other remaining matters
were also discussed - removing conversion uncertainties and
reducing the proposed new mortgage to a level consistent
with affordable maintenance, as was the case at IH. At the
conclusion of the meeting the Owners promised to follow up
with our attorneys within 2 weeks but failed to do so.
Instead, we recently learned that the Owners have shifted their
position on rents again, and now wish to implement an
21% initial rent hike.
It is important to understand that the circumstances related
to the ML exit, especially here on Roosevelt Island, are complex
heavily regulated by virtue of the ML own regulations, the
existence of affordability restrictions in the General
Development Plan (GDP), and short term of the
current ground lease (controlled by RIOC). The
Taskforce, through our attorneys, have asserted out rights
for seamless transition and preservation of affordable
housing at WV on a number of occasions. The Owners simply cannot
unilaterally do whatever they want.
We met again with Mr. McCurnin at HCR this month and communicated
our concerns for the continued delays on the part of
the Owners and their shifting positions on rents. Mr.MCurnin promised
to sponsor another meeting with the Owners soon in an effort to
resolve all outstanding issues.
Because state agencies are involved, we are also seeking
help from our elected representatives.
Despite the existence of these outstanding matters and delays, we
believe a resolution consistent with our objectives, NYS
objectives, and the Owner's objectives is within reach. Westview
residents have invested significant resources over the past
12 years to protect our homes, and we are committed to gettinf
the job done.
renovation process continues underway and while no official
updates have been posted or announced, we hear that pool is
on schedule to opened this December.
We surely hope this is the
case and will advise everyone when we know more.
If you would like to contact
RY - feel free to send your inquiries to Ms. Sheila Redula at sredula@RYmanagement.com with
a request for progress on the pool repair and the timely
opening of the facilities for tenants to use.
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