Friday, June 28, 2013
Tenants of foreclosed buildings want fixes
From the Queens Courier:
Hany Taha is afraid that his ceiling will collapse on him.
He has lived in the same apartment for 26 years, but now the ceiling is sinking. Although he has complained about it for seven months, nothing has happened.
Taha is a resident of one of six low-income apartment buildings in Ridgewood owned by Ridgewood Realty of L.I. The structures have accumulated a total of nearly 550 violations, according to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
At a rally on June 19 outside Manhattan’s bankruptcy court, residents and officials demanded to meet with the company that owns the mortgages — an investment firm called Stabilis Capital Management — to discuss finding a “new, responsible owner.”
About thirty families rent at the buildings in question, which have six units each. The rent ranges from $900 to $1,050 a month. Tenants make payments to a court-appointed receiver.
Residents want to continue living in the buildings, but fear that Stabilis will sell them to a group that wants to build luxury apartments.
“We are trying to resolve it, but we don’t own the buildings. We don’t have control over them,” a representative from Stabilis said. “We are prevented from taking action because of the bankruptcy that was taken by the owner.”
Residents’ complaints include no heat in the winter, leaks from ceilings, rat infestations, mold and cracked walls. The front doors to some of the buildings are missing knobs, and a number of locks are broken.