—More than 700 owner-residents attend —
An emergency forum held night by Assemblyman Luis Sepúlveda, State Senator Rev Ruben Diaz, and Council Member Annabel Palma about Parckchester South’s threatened 15 percent hike in common charges drew other key elected officials and upward of 700 Parkchester owner-residents.
The elected officials were joined at the event — which was held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Evangelical Church on McGraw Avenue — by Public Advocate Letitia James and a representative from the Office of NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer.
“The fact that repairs may be necessary throughout Parkchester South,” said Sepúlveda, “does not justify management’s imposing draconian increases that will be devastating to the elderly, single families, the disabled, and others who are already struggling to keep up.”
Sepúlveda also called on Parkchester South management “to be more accountable and to participate in meetings with the community and its elected officials.
“Board President Abu Shakoor and other management officials stated that they would be available to attend, but they were no shows,” continued Sepúlveda. “They apparently decided that other business was more important than the 15.19 percent increase that they are trying to simply shove down people’s throats. Despite their lack of participation at the first town hall meeting, we will offer them another opportunity to meet with the owners at another meeting.”
“I am so proud of the turnout from night's meeting. More than 400 people joined us, but shame on the Management of Parkchester South who, at the last minute, decided not to attend. I am committed to continue to keep fighting because this 15-1/2 half percent hike is abusive.” stated State Senator Rev Ruben Diaz.
Public Advocate James said “I am deeply concerned about the proposed 15% hike in common charges for residents of Parkchester South Condominiums and the significant impact that it will have on the hard-working families in this community. I am committed to working with the local elected officials and Management Board of Parkchester South on behalf of residents to urge them to consider a more reasonable agreement."
Council Member Palma stated, “Parkchester’s South Condominium Boards financial management has resulted in homeowners and tenants paying an unjust 15.19% maintenance fee increase. The result--residents, many who are already struggling to make ends meet, will no longer be able to afford to live in one of the city’s last affordable residential communities. As a current resident at Parkchester, I am fully aware of the need for capital improvements in our buildings, but such a drastic increase will be detrimental to our residents, many who are already struggling with their day to day expenses. I, along with my colleagues at the state level, such as Assembly Member Sepulveda, and Senator Diaz, along with Public Advocate James, look forward to working with Parkchester Management and it’s board, to identify the best financial solution for all stakeholders involved.”
The elected officials said they are considering “all options” to block the increase. According to Sepúlveda, Diaz, and Palma, these options include seeking an injunction against Parckchester South Condominiums, Inc. and bringing in an independently chosen auditor. “The auditor,” Sepúlveda explained, “would assess the actual costs of needed repairs and determine an equitable per-unit share of those costs, a determination that would ensure that already financially pressed Parckchester South condo owners not be gouged.”
Assemblyman Luis Sepúlveda represents New York’s 87th Assembly District (Bronx), which along with Parkchester and Stratton Park also includes Castle Hill, West Farms, Van Nest, and Unionport.