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Previous Front Page Stories - 2006 and earlier
Other Years: [2016-2013]  [2013-2011]  [2010]  [2009-2007]  [2006 and earlier]

The Impact of 9/11 on Community Health and A Call for Federal Action

THURSDAY • SEPTEMBER 7, 2006, 6:30-8:30pm
St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway Between Fulton & Vesey Sts.

Ground zero workers have suffered severe 9/11 health impacts and our government must take immediate action to meet their needs.   Less recognized is the health impact of 9/11 on the community. After 9/11, medical researchers found the rate of respiratory illness among downtown residents had tripled. What are the health needs of people exposed to contamination from the destruction of the World Trade Center? Shouldn’t there be a federally funded screening and treatment program for all affected residents, office workers, students and visitors?

Join us, as we hear from medical experts and community members on the health effects of 9/11 contamination and launch a drive for the federal government to address these unmet community health needs.

Speak out from the audience about your 9/11 health experiences and concerns.

[More information]  [Downloadable PDF]

For IPN Tenants: Assistance With Your Recertification Papers Now Available from IPNTA

The IPNTA office will be open during the following hours:

Monday, April 24th & Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

10 AM to 12 (noon)
2 PM to 4 PM
7 PM to 8 PM

The IPNTA Tenants Office is located in the Lobby Level of 310 Greenwich Street and accessible through the door on the left as you face the elevators.

Please stop by with your papers and Vicki and other volunteers from the IPNTA will work on them together with you.

•Where We Are Now: J51 and Other Issues

Here’s a summary of developments concerning our landlord’s participation in a tax-abatement plan known as J-51, IPNTA’s response, and its implications for tenants at IPN. For new tenants who have not been informed of these issues, J-51 requires that certain benefits be given to tenants, such as keeping rents in accord with state regulations, as opposed to market demands.

The IPNTA has taken time – maybe more than some of us anticipated – to thoroughly research the law and rights afforded under J-51 abatements. Though we can never be 100 percent certain of any situation’s outcome, we must not move forward on issues that affect all the tenants without doing our homework and first knowing the worst case and best case scenarios. [full story...]

•Voucher Issues: An Update

The latest info for those of us receiving vouchers is that there is no news as far as federal funding for vouchers being withdrawn. So at this time, no news is good news! Interim rent statements, documentation, inspection.... For help and information, see full story.

•Spotlight on Townhouses

Townhouse living is a mixed experience of independence and isolation. Detached from the IPN community, the sixty-nine townhouse units, which range in size from studios to 4 bedrooms, are dispersed over the two plazas, the walkway facing BMCC, the area behind the federal row houses on Harrison St., and along the two blocks of Greenwich Street from Duane to N. Moore.

This large area makes it difficult for residents to meet and greet one another as tower residents do in their lobbies and elevators. As someone who has lived both in a tower and in a townhouse, I have a perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of both and want to share my perspective with those of you who don’t know townhouse life. [full story...]

•CERT Training

The New York City Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program trains neighborhood and community-based volunteer teams. [full story...]

•Report on Building Services: Rats, Pigeons, Elevators...and much more

IPNTA’s Building Services Committee (BSC) monitors the delivery of services by management to tenants. The disruptions of the last few years, including elevator and window replacement, balcony and plaza renovation, and the renovation of vacant apartments, along with reduced maintenance staff, make our job feel like swimming upstream, but if swimming upstream makes changes, that’s just what we’ll do.

Our tenants have experienced inconvenience to the breaking point. Management needs to hire enough staff to supervise and execute renovations while, at the same time, provide daily maintenance of services so that tenant quality of life is not reduced.

Currently, one Stellar management person is in charge of both jobs, and though he is working hard and tries to accommodate our requests, he is doing double duty. We have requested additional supervisory staff and may need to take stronger action to get it. [full story...]

Got Problems? IPNTA Continues To Help Tenants Resolve Transition Issues.

As everybody knows by now, the agreement reached between IPNTA and Laurence Gluck, the new owner of Independence Plaza North, will keep the home of every tenant in good standing affordable.

With all such agreements, there’s a lot of paperwork involved. Most tenants have submitted the required papers, and have received notice that they will either get a government voucher (which requires that they pay 30% of their income for rent), or will be designated a “LAP” tenant (which stands for landlord assistance program), under which they will pay rent mostly in accord with rent stabilization.

Nevertheless, some tenants have been wrongly designated; some have received no notice whatsoever from the City; some have even received wrongful eviction notices!

IPNTA has been working ceaselessly to help tenants work through this bureaucratic snafu. But not every problem has been resolved. Here are our recommendations.

Late Fees

Before IPN exited the Mitchell-Lama program, the former landlord allowed tenants to take up to ten days after the first of the month to pay rent. Many, if not most, tenants assumed that this policy would continue under the new owner. Unfortunately, that is not the case. [story continues...]

A word from our new President

Hello, everybody, and welcome to the next phase in our ongoing struggle to keep our homes affordable and comfortable.

We are now in the so-called transition phase, moving from Mitchell-Lama to a private complex. As with any transition, it is not easy, but we — IPNTA — are still actively dealing with, frankly, a hellish situation.

So far we have been addressing over 300 individual tenant problems: lease issues, voucher issues, LAP issues, pet issues and so many more we can barely enumerate them. We try to contact every single tenant who has notified us of their situation. It seems that there is a new crisis every day. [letter continues...]

Saving Mitchell-Lama? It Would Not Work for Us

Many of us have read about a new HPD program to save those Mitchell-Lama buildings that have not yet exited the program. Some IPN tenants have argued that the new “law” — which gives owners more financial incentives—would have worked for us.

They are misinformed. First, the program is just that — a program, not a law. In fact, it is hardly a program, just a proposal. [story continues...]

City Comptroller Warns Of Possible Affordable Housing Shortage, NY1, Feb. 18, 2004
City Comptroller William Thompson warns New York could lose more than 40,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade if all of the city’s low-cost developments slated to retire their subsidized mortgages in the next 10 years decide to withdraw from the programs. [continues...]

IPNTA's Response to the Comptroller's report:

We welcome the Comptroller's report. Clearly, it represents a lot of good work, and shines yet another spotlight on the twin crises in affordable housing: first, protecting tenants who are now threatened with these monstrous buyouts; second, making sure that future generations of working and middle class people can afford to live in New York.

The problem we have is with the Comptroller's recommendation that this should be on the City's legislative agenda in Albany. Punting this New York City problem to Albany hasn't worked in the past. We have little confidence that it will work in the future, at least not soon enough to help the tens of thousands of people who are now threatened with the loss of their homes.

The Republican administrations in Washington, in New York City, in Albany are the problem--not the solution.

As of right now, Only Speaker Miller and his City Council colleagues have a real plan. Intro #5. Politics aside, we call on all Democrats -- and all fair-minded people to unite behind this bill. It needs to be enacted immediately.

Rally/Press Conference 10-29-03, Comments from IPNTA Executive Board

Click here for Media Advisory and Press MaterialsLegislation Hearing and Rally at City Hall, Oct 29, 2003
Comments about the Hearing and Rally
Photos of the Rally
• To read the newspaper coverage, see In The Press.

  • For Immediate Tenant Action:   Send Mayor Bloomberg Letters, E-Mails, Phone Calls!
    Mayor Bloomberg has said publicly that he supports affordable housing.
    Let’s hold him to his public statements! What To Tell Him>>>
    Read the Mayor's Oct 29th Press Release: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg Proposes State Legislation to Provide Protection to Mitchell-Lama Development Tenants and Tax Relief to Owners
  • Oct 16 Tenants Meeting, at which IPN owner Laurence Gluck spoke: [Photos] [Tribeca Trib] [Downtown Express]
  • Remember what you have built...
    We need to show the political forces that it is a crime and a total lack of conscience for the government, who owns 95 percent of IPN, to turn their backs on over 3,500 people -- the people who literally built the Tribeca neighborhood. Our tenants have helped all of downtown for the past 30 years. We were here, even when there weren't many other people living here. We have been good neighbors and dedicated New Yorkers. We have helped build Washington Market Park, P.S. 234, Hudson River Park, the downtown little league, and supported our neighbors during the loft law campaign to make loft living legal.

    Now, the powers that be would like to eliminate us from New York City.

    Please share our message with your neighbors, other Mitchell-Lama tenants, and residents of New York City. How anyone can turn their backs on this issue? Imagine looking back and remembering that over 3,500 people at IPN were forced out of their homes because someone who never had anything to do with creating Tribeca wants to cash in on our hard work here.
  • Important press coverage: IPN continues to get more press.
    National Coverage: See The Washington Post article, N.Y. Tenants Feel Squeezed...
    The Village Voice recently detailed IPN's situation in its article, Zero At Ground Zero. For a full list of IPN and Mitchell-Lama stories, see In The Press.
  • City Council Bill Protecting Mitchell-Lama Tenants Announced at City Hall... [Photos] [IPNTA Newsletter Aug 03] [In The Press].
  • Keep NYC Mitchell-Lama Rental Housing Affordable. Tell the City Council to pass Intro 523.

    Brief Summary: The Mitchell-Lama Conversion Protection Bill, Intro 523, will give tenants more power to:

    1) require landlords to comply with the Mitchell-Lama program (i.e., doing timely repairs, building upkeep) and
    2) negotiate fair deals with landlords who want to get out of the Mitchell-Lama program by providing meaningful incentives for owners to negotiate fair deals with tenants to retain affordable housing.

  • Thanks to all IPN Tenants who turned out for the City Hall press conference announcing the bill, sponsored by City Council Speaker Gifford Miller. [Press Release PDF or Press Release HTML]
  • About the Independence Plaza North Tenant Association, IPNTA was formed to represent the interests of IPN tenants....
  • Summer 2003, Neil Fabricant and our lawyers met with Laurence Gluck and his lawyers...
  • Now that the Buyout is For Real, Join the Fight, What a meeting we had on June 25...
  • IPN Gets National Attention!
  • Resolution in favor of IPN passed by the Tribeca Committee of the Community Board, CB 1, January 21, 2003
  • Ya Basta! Enough Is Enough! An open letter from Neil Fabricant, IPNTA President
  • 9/11 Survivors Fight Eviction Effort IPNTA Press Release, Dec 5, 2002
  • What is the Mitchell-Lama Program?   The NYS Division of Housing & Community Renewal provides a detailed description. [http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/ohm/progs/mitchlam/ohmprgmi.htm]

IPN Gets National Attention!
IPNTA VP Diane Lapson was invited to speak at the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies.

September 11th and the Role of the Neighboorhood Association by Diane Lapson

Diane's presentation, "Community Organizations Acting During Crisis: 9/11 and Neighborhood Associations" was part of a national summit entitled, The Public As An Asset, Not A Problem. A Summit on Leadership During Bioterrorism, held on February 3-4, 2003.

IPNTA is serving as a model for the importance of strong community organizations during disaster. The mobilization, activities, and cohesiveness of Independence Plaza North tenants during September 11 are now recognized nationally.

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