(Photo by David Greene)
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, September 13- A few dozen residents of the Mitchell-Lama complex known as Tracy Towers stood on the steps of the Bronx County Courthouse, demanding officials put an end to a 16 percent rent increase effective September 1.
Residents were joined with New York State Assembly candidate Mark Gjonaj, who filed an injunction on their behalf, to stop the proposed 60 percent increase over the next three-years.
During the courthouse demonstration held on Jean Hill, President of the Tracy Towers Tenants Association, claimed, “They've got $4 million in loans... that has not been accounted for (and) $147 million in dept that the’re never going to have to pay, but the tenants of Tracy Towers have to pay out of their pockets to pay a $40 million bond loan.”
Hill continued, “Mitchell-Lama was suppose to be affordable housing, what happened to our affordable housing?”
Residents claim that management has been paying $5,000 a month for the last five-years for a scaffolding around the building. They also claim constant boiler and elevator breakdowns are effecting the 800-families who call the complex home.
Residents also claim the complex has over 800 violations with the Department of Buildings and charge that management is warehousing dozens of apartments, possibly waiting for the building to possibly go co-operative in the future.
Hill asked, “Doesn't anyone pay attention to this stuff?”
Gjonaj sated, “At a time when families are just getting by and making ends meet, a 65 percent increase is wrong and unjust in so many ways.”