Residents of Middle Village and Rego Park want to know how a city block in an otherwise prosperous neighborhood could become as impoverished as this one. As with most things, the answers regarding this 63-00 block of Woodhaven Boulevard aren’t simple. But they are indicative of problems faced around the borough, around the city, and in other cities all over the country.
Middle Village City Block Dies A Slow Death: Why?
Problems with Daniel Shalom’s property in Middle Village are a well-documented matter of public record.
The mixed-use building that stands on the corner of Dana Court, comprises 37 units, mostly one- and two-bedroom apartments, along with several Woodhaven Boulevard storefronts. Department of Housing Preservation and Development records show 265 open violations there, some dating back to 1977.
The total for the entire block, which comprises six separate address, and several more storefronts and apartments, was 342.
Some tenants, however, are fighting back. David Franzo is one such tenant. At 43, he has lived in the building his entire life — first with his mother, in a different apartment, now in a rent-controlled space he inherited from his recently deceased grandmother. Franzo, himself physically handicapped, said that Daniel Shalom has fought him on the rent control issue every step of the way, even going as far as to question his relationship with his grandmother.
Today, he is an officer in the Shalom Tenants Alliance, a group dedicated to uniting aggrieved Shalom tenants all over the city.
He had especially harsh criticism for locally elected officials like City Councilman Dennis Gallagher and state Sen. Serphin Maltese.
“They’re despicable when it comes to political representation for the middle class,” Franzo said. “They have no interest because we are not considered big ticket people. What are they doing for their communities?”