To The Editor (Queens Gazette);
As an active civic member of my community, I take great concern when I learn that neighbors of mine are facing a serious community challenge.
This week, I demonstrated with members of the Parkway Village housing cooperative in front of the JP Morgan Chase asset management building in Manhattan. This is my understanding of the problem
JP Morgan Chase holds the mortgage to the Parkway Village co-op. The heating system has broken down at the co-op and the residents need to refinance their mortgage in order to replace it before winter with an energy efficient system. JP Morgan Chase refuses to refinance. The residents could go to another financial institution who would lend them the money. JP Morgan Chase will not allow the residents to accept a deal at another institution unless a $5 million dollar prepayment penalty is paid to JP Morgan Chase. The residents cannot afford to do this. JP Morgan Chase is being inflexible and uncaring to the 675 middle-class families living in the Parkway Village community. The residents there cannot live in buildings without heat and they cannot pay $5 million to JP Morgan Chase.
It is interesting to note that JP Morgan Chase received $30 billion from the federal government, our taxpayer dollars, to assist them with their acquisition of Bear Stearns. But when it comes time for JP Morgan Chase to assist working class New Yorkers in overcoming a problem that could force them to leave their homes, it chooses to take a greedy position in a dire situation. Outrageous!
You can help. Please send an e-mail to Mr. Daniel Sang, vice president in charge of asset management at JP Morgan Chase at Daniel.T.Sang@jpmorgan.com (or call him at 212-648-2784) and ask that his company show some mercy to the residents of Parkway Village by eliminating or at least slashing the penalty to refinance at another institution. Corporations must not exploit middle-class New Yorkers in this heinous manner.
For those who do not know, Parkway Village is a 34-acre community built in the late 1940s in Queens to house diplomats and employees of the newly created United Nations. The architect was Leonard Schultze. Such notables as Ralph Bunche, Betty Friedan and Roy Wilkins all called Parkway Village home over the years. Today, some employees of the United Nations still live in this diverse community. It has park-like grounds with magnificent trees. It truly is a gem that should be landmarked and protected. It has the necessary historical, cultural and architectural components to merit landmark designation.
We all must speak out to help each other protect our homes and quality of life. We never know when our turn will come, when our community's survival is at stake! Please help out Parkway Village residents by contacting Mr. Sang at JP Morgan Chase.