Monday, July 14, 2008

Angry grannies storm developer's office

An angry crew of grandmas has a message for billionaire Bruce Wasserstein: Give us a break!

Atria West, a long-term upper West Side care facility owned by Lazard Ltd., Wasserstein's investment fund, has socked its 144 elderly residents with rent hikes of 12% to 25%.

In response, a sneaker-clad foursome of seniors - representing numerous residents they say are too scared to come forward - recently tried to confront the ultrawealthy investment banker at his Rockefeller Center office.

"I hope when you're our age, you're not in our position," a furious Hilda Greenberg, 86, shouted to a guard from her wheelchair after he refused to let them up to Wasserstein's 62nd-floor office.

In a letter from the residents' board they tried to hand-deliver to Wasserstein, the women noted the stark disparity between his wealth and their fixed incomes.

"While residents at Atria struggle to manage rate increases ... the compensation packages for those at Lazard are in the millions."

"I told my daughter that I hope I don't live too long," said Greenberg, who has seven great-grandchildren. "I don't know what I will do."

Care-home grannies blast billionaire whose firm put their rents through roof

Peering through heavy, dark-rimmed glasses, [Hilda] Weissberg said she negotiated a monthly rent of $3,000 for her studio apartment before moving in last January. In six months, it has shot up to nearly $6,000.

She says her broker told her she was running out of stocks and bonds because she had been cashing them in to pay rent, Weissberg said.


Anonymous said...

$3000 a month for rent on a studio? Sounds like granny is doing a lot better than other folks who are having this problem with $750 a month dumps in crappier neighborhoods.

Queens Crapper said...

$3000 a month includes food, medical care, etc. This is an assisted living facility.

Anonymous said...

This is bad- can you please investigate the Selfhelp apartments of Flushing.

Back in October 2006, the management- Douglas Elliman, closed the buildings' visitor parking lot, forcing home-attendants and relatives to either pay for the parking, or search for space in the crowded neighborhood.

Visiting my grandparents isn't easy because there is no place to park in Flushing. All because Douglas Elliman wants to make some money by charging for Selfhelp's parking lot.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Atria West, but at one point, last year I almost had Dad move into Atria Greak Neck.

$3000/month? Not too bad for what you're getting - a fairly large studio (semi-furnished), 3 GOOD squares/day (I ate lunch there 2x), plus a somewhat limited medical care (higher levels of medical care cost more) - the included care is them checking up, what they call "pill reminders" (aka they can not dispense the pills, but if a family member puts them in a pill tray, they will make sure the resident takes the pills), things like medical overwatch (they will make sure the resident gets to the MD, and will inform the family of medical changes, etc. Again, additional medical care is available for more $$

When you start to price out what it costs for "Home" companion servies (someone to come in, make sure that Dad ate breakfast/lunch (i would have him over for dinner), someone to clean house (change the sheets, do the laundry - partularly if he had an accident), plus pendent serices (help, I've fallen and can't get up) etc - you end up paying on the rough order of $100 day for 4 hours/day.

It's nice if you can stay home with Mom and Dad, and trust me, I tried, but they can rapidly go from totally independent, to needing someone on short order call (aka you better be there in minutes) 24x7 in months if not weeks. It's a halfway between totally independent living, and a Nursing Home

Dad never went through that stage. He was independent when Mom passed (although he was getting some aid offically). Within a 10 day spread, he went from "living alone, with 1-2 hours of help every other day" to "hospital can can't walk" then Hospital and can't get out of bed

Did my darndest to get him well, visited about 4-5 times/week, tried to talk him into working with his doctors and the like, but the cancer and alzhimers were too much.

The cancer finally got him on June 14th

Anonymous said...

i admire these grannies. Some of the younger people should have this much zip.

Anonymous said...

Why do people insist on living above their means and then get angry at the landlord when the rent goes up? They should have brought a house / co-op / condo home when they had the chance.

We Light Up Queens said...

I competely agree with the poster above me. You can not cry poverty and live in a Manhattan studio apt.

Can't afford to live the life of luxury? Tough sh*t, join the rest of us.

Truman Harris said...

How is a studio apartment considered "luxury"? These are elderly people, many of whom are in wheelchairs and need medical care. You'd think Medicare, SS or their kids would help pay for the cost.

Anonymous said...

Assisted Living is NOT covered by Medicaid/Medicare

Nursing Homes - IF you have a temporary condition, you can get up to 100 days of rehab for that condition, and if you leave the nursing home for more than X days, the clock resets (I think it's 90 days).

Medicaid will pay for your nursing home after that, IF you have used all your assets (I think you are allowed to keep 4000 in assets, and have an income of something like $40/month) - this is where the fun starts, with things like asset sheltering (there is a 5 year lookback in NY right now - any assets you've had in the last 5 years can be grabbed). They do NOT force you to sell your house right away, but once the surviving spouce dies, and the house goes on the market, they WILL take their share.

This is where the "elder care" lawyers make their money. Not so much inheritance taxes, but in setting up the elderly persons "life estate" to legally exempt assets from being seen by Medicaid

Anonymous said...

For 3K these grannies could live like kings in the Bronx. They should look into it.

Anonymous said...

for 3K they can get a nice semi funished studio, with 24 hour on call medical, 3 meals a day (cooked and delivered), be driven to all their medical appointments (and anyplace within 10 miles if they make an appointment a day in advance) have security guards, and a full schedule of entertainment? Not not bad - where in the Bronx, please