By Michael Horowitz
BRONX, NEW YORK, August 23- The three-percent increase in carrying charges that Co-op City shareholders face pales in comparison with the increases that residents at Tracey Towers, a Mitchell-Lama development in the Mosholu Parkway area, are facing.
At Tracey Towers, resident are facing rent increases of 65 percent over the next four years under an order from the city agency that oversees the 869-unit development.
Tenant leaders at the second-largest rental property in the Bronx are reportedly weighing a legal action aimed at blocking the increases, which include a 16-percent hike in rent in September.
Tenants at Tracey Towers, for over a year, have been fighting against what they term precipitous rent increases, arguing that the increases will make living in that community unaffordable.
Even without the increases, which the managers of RY Management first applied for in the spring of 2011, rents at Tracey Towers are already significantly higher than carrying charges in Co-op City. The average rent at the Mosholu Parkway property, which has long had door attendants around the clock, is reportedly $1,290 per month.
RY Management, the landlord of Tracey Towers, proposed the rent hikes in the spring of last year, saying that they were needed to pay for capital improvements.
However, tenant leaders, for the last year, have argued that a $4-million loan from the city, which was supposed to be used for roof and façade repairs, was diverted for other purposes.
The city's Department of Housing, Preservation and Development (HPD) has said that the loan money was diverted to pay for emergency heat and hot-water repairs.
Tracey Towers desperately needs roof and façade repairs, HPD has reportedly stated. The agency has promised Section 8 vouchers for eligible residents who need them to stay in the Mosholu Parkway complex.
An RY spokesman reportedly said that his firm will work to prevent displacement of residents and will offer new bathrooms and kitchens to residents.
Residents at the Mosholu Parkway development, saying that they should not be penalized for RY Management's failures at Tracey Towers, are concerned that the impending increases there will destroy their community's affordability.
Jean Hill, president of the Tracey Towers Tenant Association, reportedly told the Daily News, “This (the impending rent increases) is going to put grandma out on the street.”