This week's TOWN & VILLAGE highlighted tenant displeasure at the MCIs that are now affirmed forever as part of an apartment's permanent rent when the TA decided to withdraw its "opposition to, and request for reconsideration of the Prior Orders" its in negotiations with CWCapital.
Editor/reporter Sabina Mollot interviewed residents about the MCI settlement:
“It seems very unfair,” said Katie Bernard, who’s lived in Stuy Town for
10 years. She was especially annoyed that MCIs were charged for the
video intercom system, which she said was unnecessary. “I can’t tell you
how little it works. I miss the old system. I don’t need a screen.”
Another resident also said she didn’t understand the need for the security upgrades that qualified for MCIs. “It didn’t make my life any safer,” said Carol Szamtowicz. “These capital improvements, I’m sorry I have to pay for them.” As for the settlement, she thought it was good that the Tenants Association fought the increases, “but,” she added, “five percent isn’t very much.”
Meanwhile, another resident, Bob Novick, said he was glad to hear the retroactive portion of the increases had been eliminated. “They did get the retroactive off and that is significant,” said Novick. However, he too said he didn’t get why the intercom system needed replacing on the tenants’ dime. “We got new intercoms 8-10 years ago,” he recalled, adding that he thought the new ones were “essentially the same. The new ones are more sophisticated, but I’m wondering what the purpose was other than to increase the rents.”
And Bill Oddo, a longtime resident, said he wasn’t impressed with the settlement at all. “I don’t see where the success is when we’re only getting 5 percent off on all those items,” he said. “I have to pay $15 a month for video cameras and they don’t do anything. The security cameras don’t make us safe. They only help after the fact. You can’t possibly monitor 1,200 cameras 24/7.” Besides, he added, “For 65 years, this has been one of the safest communities in the city. It’s safer than St. Patrick’s Cathedral.” Oddo added that together he’ll be paying over $50 a month in MCIs, for improvements he thought his existing base rent should cover. “I can’t figure out why tenants have to pay for them,” he said.
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