Vol. 16, No.19  Sept. 25 - Oct. 8, 2003


Rivera and Public Advocate Tour Concourse Buildings


Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum and Council Member Joel Rivera toured 2874 and 2860 Grand Concourse on Monday after receiving complaints from tenants at the buildings, which are both owned by Moshe Piller. 

The Norwood News first reported on the buildings last February, when tenant leader Judith Freeman brought it to the paper's attention. Though some work has been done in a few apartments, serious problems persist and there are still 340 violations on record. Freeman's bathroom has a giant hole in the ceiling and an apartment in the same building has only one working electrical outlet. Tenants say the lights often go out in the evening when tenants are home from work. There is a strong smell of urine the hallways. 

Gotbaum said she would personally call Jerilyn Perine, commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) about the buildings. And Rivera said he is researching legislation to make it so that landlords cannot collect any Section 8 rents in the building if repairs are not made in a single apartment. Currently, the law states that the landlord can only be denied rent for that particular apartment. 

Rivera also said he supports legislation now being considered in the City Council that would reinstate tenant petition inspections (TPIs), whereby housing inspectors can inspect several violations brought to their attention at one time by a tenant group.

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