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June/July 1987

R . U S H I N G ' S G R O W I N G P A . S DP A R E N T S O N T H E M O V E
Q U E E N S C O - O P S Q U A B B L E D H U D IW.S S E N I O R H O U S I N G
Quality Housing
for Whom?
52.00
2 CITY LIMITS June/July 1987
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EDITORIAL
The Big Lie
Last month's action - or more precisely inaction - by the state legis-
lature on New York's rent-regulation laws was a huge victory for land-
lords. By simply renewing the existing laws for two more years, the
legislature backed out of state Division of Housing and Community
Renewal recommendations for strengthening tenants' rights.
Governor Mario Cuomo, despite his eloquence at championing the
common citizen, ducked the debate altogether. Instead, tenants were
treated to the spectacle of Senate counsel Richard Runes declaring that
Democratic legislators wanted to treat landlords "like the black people
in South Africa and the Jews in Germany." The two-year extension on
rent regulations gives landlord groups the time and momentum to build
further support for decontrol.
In an age when image is more important than fact, the landlord groups,
which are financially strong and politically connected, have the upper
hand. Editorials in. the daily papers will proclaim that rent regulation
leads to abandonment, prevents new construction, benefits just a few
wealthy people and perpetrates a host of other ills. The fact that no
evidence documents these claims will matter litle. Full-page ads paid
for by the Rent Stabilization Association featuring graphic photos and
headlines will figure more prominently in the minds of the public than
statistical evidence. If you tell the lie often enough and boldly enough,
it is perceived as truth.
But the facts are there for those who look past the rhetoric of the big
lie. Of 113 cities reporting' abandonment problems to the U.S. General
Accounting Office, only six have rent regulations. The problems that
lead to abandonment are far more complex than landlord advocates
Likewise, the amount of new construction in a city is affected
by many factors, not just whether there are rent regulations. In fact, new
construction in New York is exempt from regulation the
building receives tax abatements or other government subsidies. And
the claim that regulations benefit only the wealthy, who pay just a
fraction of their income for rent-regulated homes, is equally fallacious.
The fact is, the rich pay a far smaller percentage of their income for
rent than everybody else. whether or not regulations exist.
There are many other myths being spread about the negative effects
of rent regulations. But the biggest myth of all is the one that claims
the free market will provide adequate housing for even the 70
percent of New York City tenants who earn under $25,000 a year. OD. T.
Cover art by Mario Mottola
"
INSIDE

"Quality Housing:" Coming to Your
Neighborhood Soon 12
The city planning department is urging sweeping
changes of New York City's zoning rules. But its
controversial Quality Housing proposals are getting
mixed reviews from developers, thumbs down from
many housing advocates.
Growing Pains Scar Downtown Flushing 16
Wealthy Asians from Taiwan and Hong Kong are
turning the working-class community of downtown
into an international financial center. But
fast-paced development has been accompanied by
arson, fear of displacement and exploitation of poor
immigrants.
DEPARTMENTS
From the Editor
The Big Lie .. ......................... 2
Short Thrm Notes
HUD Kills Senior Housing ............... 4
Tenants Under Siege .................... 4
Commu'nity Review Unwired ............. 5
Sex Harassment Resolutions ............. 5
Neighborhood Notes
Bronx .. ............ ..... .............. 6
Brooklyn .. . ..... ...... ; ............ .. . 6
Manhattan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Queens . . ... ................. ... ...... 7
Pipeline
Big Money, Shady Dealings in Queens Co-op
Conversion ........ : ..... . . ...... ..... 8
Program Focus
Who's Minding the City's
Participation Loans ..................... 10
Organize
Parents on the Move . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Letters ................................. 22
Workshop ............................... 23
June' July 1987 CITY LIMITS 3
......... ...
Parents on the Move/ P
4 CITY LIMITS Junel July 1987
SHORT TERM NOTES
HUD KILLS
SENIOR HOUSING
To the distress of local
.politicians, community 'leaders
and residents who fqr 16 years
made "Site 30-B" a rallying cry
for government-sponsored
housing in an era of the
evisceration of federal housing
funds, the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban
Development has withdrawn
funding to construct 87 units of
housing for low income senior
citizens at a vacant lot at 90th
Street and Columbus Avenue.
The New York City Housing
Authority received word of the
recapture of funds in April and
immediately set about
appealing the decision, a
process that could lasf months,
according to a NYCHA
spokeswoman. Meanwhile, 120
units of luxury housing, whose
construction by the Lefrak
organization wps to subsidize
the low income units, is nearing
completion.
"This is something to be
expected," says Kelly Williams,
assistant director of Strycker's
Bay Neighborhood Council.
''When the luxury housing went
up, we knew something would
happen to stop or stall the
construction of low income
housing on Site 30."
Site 30-B was the litmus test
for a number of landmark
housing policies, including a
U.S. $upreme Court decision
establishing the right to decent
housing and a 1985 Board of
Estimate decision that split the
site in two parcels for 80/20
development. In both instances,
a small but vocal group of
neighbors called CONTINUE
(Committee of Neighbors to .
Insure a Nomial Ul"bdn
Enviroment) had fought'the low
income housing, fearing it
would impede development.
The federal government set
aside the site and $6 million in
1971 to create 160 units as part
of the New York Urban Renewal
Area. By the time the court suit
was resolved, the Board of
Estimate found that those funds
would pay for just 87 units-
and only if part of the land was.
sold to a developer for
market-rate development. City
Council Member Ruth Messinger
called this one of the saddest
decisions she had ever seen
(then-City Council President
Carol Bellamy cast the only
dissenting vote).
The funds were Iltcaptured
after the firm hired to build the
low. income units, Columbus
Housing Systems, failed.to meet
a construction-starting deadline
of November, 1986. Columbus
had withdrawn its winning bid
several months earlier after
finding it could not include a
basement for the 'price it had
bid. The funds were withdrawn
while NYCHA prepared to
__ reopen bidding.
At the same time, HUD also
recaptured funds for Site 3 on
the Lower East Side and the
West Tremont In-Fill in the West
Bronx.OJonathan -GUI
TENANTS UNDER
SIEGE
The low income Chinese
tenants at 87 Clinton Street are
under siege as the building$
new owners - under the
pretense of a Major Capital
Improvement (MCI) plan - are
ripping open apartments, doing
unauthorized renovations and
increasing rents more than five
times the current rate.
. Under MCI, landlords are
allowed to charge tenants an
annual rent increase of six
percent for major renovations to
the building. Since the
Department of Housing and
Community Renewal has never
fully enforeed this cap, the MCI
program has become a major
loophole for owners to increase
rents far beyond the state and
city limits.
Eighty-seven Clinton Street is
an extreme example of such
abuse. While the building
needed extensive repairs,
tenants charge that the new
. owner, Clinton Street Realty Inc.,
is renovating in order to convert
the building. Rents are
increasing from $ 100 and ",nder
to $500 or more, and tenants
are being forced out.
The tenants speak Iiffle or no
English, making them
"particularly vulnerable to the
owners' threats and
harassment," said Judy Berek,
an organizer for the tenant
advocacy group It's Time. "It's
just unreal what the landlords
are doing here. They're just
trying to get the people out as
soon as possible."
One vacated apartment now
rents for $850 a month. In the
13 other apartments, the
owners reportedly tossed
tenants' passessions into the
hallways, then ripped out the
ceilings and walls. They left
plumbing and electrical wiring
exposed for months. Four
, apartments have had no
electricity or plumbing since
January because much of the
wiring, the toilets and sinks were
. removed.
In one instance, the owners
tried to persuade three tenants
from different apartments to
move int!) a small storage room
with no water or electricity. One
of those tenants was nine
months pregl'!ant.
One of the owners, Benny
Zickerman, said he was doing
the renovations to make the
tenants "more comfortable." He
later added, "These people are
crazy if they thinkthey can pay
$82 rent ... I'm spending
$200,000 in renovations . .. I
want to make money on (the
building) and sell it."
According to Berek, the city's
buildings department has no
record of a permit application
for 87 Clinton Street. Since It's
Time informed the department
of the ongoing renovations, it
has sent .inspectors to Clinton
Street twice to stop further work.
. In April, 11 tenants signed a
petition demanding that the
owners rectify existing violations
and cease all further
renovations. Since the petition
received no response, tenants
are staging a rent strike until
their demands are met.
While the conditions at
Clinton Street are extreme, It$
Time organizer Debbie Leung
says she has seen similar
situations develop in two other
buildings on the Lower East
Side. According to Oda
Friedheim, who heads the
Coalition to Reform MCI,
instances o.f abuse have been
reported throughout the five
boroughs, where tenants have
been threatened with rent
increases of up to 75 percent
According to Friedheim, flaws
in the system allow abuses to
occur. MCI was created to
provide landlords with
incentives to renovate their
buildings, but it does not take
into account windfall profits that
can be earned through
rehabilitation. While the rent
increases are supposed to be
capped at six percent, with
retroactive increases, this rate is
closer to 12 percent. The
increase becomes permanent,
thereby allowing landlords to
. collect for repairs long after the
original costs hove been
recouped. Moreover, the MCI
system does not compensate for
the numerous other benefits
owners receive from
rehabilitation. For example,
New York City allows $ubstantial
tax savings to owners through
itsJ-51 tax abatement program,
which pays for about 80
. percent of the improvements.
The MCI Coalition is lobbying
in the state legislature for a
reform bill that would help
redistribute the costs of
renovation more fairly among
tenants and owners. Among its
provisions, the bill would
c h a n g ~ currently permanent
MCI increases to temporary
surcharges that could be
collected only until the owner
has recouped the allowable
cost for improvements. The bill
would also curb the owner's
ability to "double dip" by
reducing the MCI surcharge by
the equivalent of two-thirds the
amount the owner receives
through property tax
savings.DSarah Ferguson
COMMUNITY
REVIEW UNWIRED
Twenty-one years after the
city opened bidding for cable
television franchises, most
Queens residents still find
themselves watching the
networks and reruns. While the
actual installation remains
stalled by well-supported
allegations of corruption in the
bidding process - there have
been three indictments thus
far - a side of the story that
could have major repercussions
in the community review process
has escaped the attention of the
major media.
An appeals court decision last
February denying Queens
community boards the right to
reconsider a cable franchise
proposal after it underwent
changes at the end of the
Uniform Land Use Review
Procedure is yet another step in
what some participants see as a
pattern to undermine the
community review process as a
whole. The decision, in concert
with the inclusionary zoning
propasal recently approved by
the City Planning Commission
and the upcoming Quality
Housing proposal [see page
12)- both of which reduce
community input - and the
Board of Estimate's approval of
Columbus Center despite' the
unanimous vote of three
community boards against the
mega-projed, may set the
review process up for a fall in
the coming charter revision.
Overturning a year-old state
Supreme Court ruling, the ,
February 26 Appellate Division
decision found that ULURP
, proposals that undergo
changes in the final stages do
not have to come back before
the community boards and the
CPC if the changes are deemed
, minor or if the delay could
prove costly or time consuming.
The plaintiff, AI Simmon's
Starburst Realty, the losing
bidder for the franchise
awarded in 1983 to his
competitors, charged that late
but material changes in the deal
between the winning bidders
and the city rendered the whole
Junel July 1987 e CITY LIMITS 5
...

:z:



Pickets at Mackla_ project:
An ongoing demonstrotlon at Metropo/iton Tower colis upon developers
to meet tlie "ousing needs of low and moderate income New Yorke".
contrad illegal since it
technically never underwent a
review process.
The unanimous Appellate
Division ruling stated that the
ULURP process "does not
preclude the ultimate adoption
of contracts containing
different, even substantially
differentterms from those found
in the proposals considered
under ULURP."
"In effed what it is saying is
that the Board of Estimate can
enad into law proposals which
were never considered by
community boards," says Robert
Beerman, the attorney
representing Starburst. "It could
be construed to go much further
than the franchises. The cable
companies promised the world
and now they will [deliver) only
if its economically feasible. This
may have major impacts on the
power of community boards
and the purpose of the ULURP
process."
Defendants, which include
the city as well as the winning
bidders, American Cablevision
of Queens, Warner Amex Cable
Communications of Queens
and Percy Sutton's Queens Inner
Unity Cable Systems, maintain
that the changes are immaterial
and that the court ruling will
strengthen the ULURP process.
''These changes that were
alleged to have vitiated the
process were changes in
technical language of the
contrad," says Stephen Kramer,
a counsel for the city.
But Kramer defends the
decision in cases even of
substantial changes in a
proposol. "To say the board is
locked into the proposal and
cannot make substantial
changes is not in my view what
the charter says. In fad, the city
charter does not explicitly
require for community review of
final contracts - only the
preliminary petitions."
The Appellate Division
denied Beerman's appeal in
April. He is currently preparing
a request in the Court of
Appeals. Defendants claim that
the appeal can at best only
further delay cable installation.
Simon contends that Starnurst
Realty went bankrupt in 1983,
after losing the cable franchise
because he refused to bribe
then-Borough President Donald
Manes.DJonathan Gill
SEX HARASSMENT
RESOLUTIONS
City and state agencies
should initiate strong measures
to prevent the sexual
harassment of women tenants,
the New York City Council stated
in a recently adoped resolution.
The councils actions followed
a recommendation made by its
Committee on Women, which
held hearings that were sparked
by a City Limits investigation last
summer. "The hearings were of
great importance because they
raised serious issues for public
view and created a
consciousness within city
agencies of the problem of
sexual harassment of tenants,"
says City Council Member
Miriam Friedlander, who chairs
the committee.
Friedlander says that another
hearing will be held in six to
eight months to determine if
regulatory changes are
necessary to back up the
recommendations.
The Council's
recommendations urge that:
eThe Sexual Harossment
Unit of the state's Division of
Housing and Community
Renewal be expanded;
eStiffer penalties be given
to landlords and their
employees in sex harassment
cases, including punative and
compensatory damages to
victims;
eThe citys administrative
code be amended to give the
Commission on Human Rights
the authority to seek stays of
eviction in pending sex
harassment cases;
eNotices advising tenants
of their rights in sexual
harassment cases be posted in
apartment lobbies and included
in leases; .
eCity agencies and court
personnel should receive
training on the issue;
eParticipation loan
Program recipients should be
restrided from receiving further
funding if convided of sexually
harassing tenants;
eSecurity should be
upgraded to proted tenants
when apartment repairs are
needed;
eState and city efforts to
combat tenant sexual
harassment should be
coordinated;
eClass action suits should
be encouraged on behalf of
tenants claiming sexual
, Kipnis
6 CITY LIMITS June' July 1987
Brooklyn
Coney Islanders Blast Shelter
Coney Island residents delivered a
strong message to city officials who
want to build a homeless shelter in
their neighborhood: No More Dump-
ing On Us.
At a recent public hearing called
by Community Board 13, residents
reacted angrily to the city's proposal
to locate a $7 million, three-story
shelter on a site directly across from
Mark 1Wain Junior High School. Op-
position to the plan has been building
for months and local groups worked
hard to publicize the meeting, which
drew a crowd of more than 250
people.
The Coney Island site is one of 20
the Koch administration has targeted
for shelter construction in the
boroughs. City officials originally
wanted to erect a shelter near the
boardwalk, on a site that also was
planned for a new sports arena. The
new proposal calls f<;>r construction
by 1988 of a facility for 100 families,
to be run by a non-profit agency.
"Why do you always choose Coney
Island" asked Shawn Syville of the
Coney Island Coalition for Self-Help.
"Why don't you put up shelters at Lin-
coln Center or Flushing Meadows?"
Efforts by representatives of the
city's Human Resources Administra-
tion to describe the proposed facility
were overwhelmed by angry com-
ments from the crowd. Many speak-
ers expressed sympathy for the home-
less but criticized the city's plans to
place a shelter in a neighborhood that
they say already has more than its
share of poor people.
Some residents objected to the shel-
ter's proximity to the school yard and
to Coney Island Creek, which has
claimed the lives of two local chil-
dren. Others called for construction
of permanent housing instead of tem-
porary shelters.
"We have people who are now liv-
ing four to five generations in the
same apartment," said Ronald
Stewart of Parents United Against
Crack. "They will be homeless soon
if something isn't done about it."
Several local political leaders also
opposed the city's plan, and after the
public hearing, members of CB 13
voted to consider filing a lawsuit
against the city on the grounds its
decision-making process violated
City Charter rules.
The shelter proposal now goes to
the City Planning Commission and
the Board of Estimate for a final deci-
sion. But Coney Islanders have vowed
to continue their protests.
Windsor Terrace
For community groups in Windsor
Terrace, the fight against high-rise de-
velopment has been a roller coaster
ride of ups and downs.
Residents scored a victory in Feb-
ruary when the City Planning Com-
mission approved a plan for down-
zoning the area to protect the low-rise
character of the neighborhood. But
that victory is threatened now by a
recent Brooklyn Supreme Court deci-
sion giving developers the right to
bypass the new rules.
Judge Anthony Jordan ruled in
March that developers Carmen Rende
and Frank Esposito should be al-
lowed to go ahead with construction
of a 145-foot tower at Prospect Park
West and Park Circle. An injunction
won by the Citizens for the Preserva-
tion of Windsor Terrace (CPWT) be-
fore the new regulations were passed
had prevented the developers from
starting the project.
But residents are hopeful they will
win the case on appeal. "We don't see
this as a final decision," said Monica
Frizell of CPWT.
In addition to local political lead-
ers, the community also has the sup-
port of Parks Commissioner Henry
Stern, who is concerned about the ef-
fects of high-rise development on
nearby Prospect Park. In a letter to
the City Planning Commission, Stern
called the new development an "un_
wholesome precedent for future con-
struction" and urged the commission
to "do what you can to see that this
building is not constructed."
Community activists recently held
a rally to publicize the case and pro-
test the court's ruling that CPWT
should pay $1,700 in court costs to
the developers. Steven Rathkopf, the
attorney for Rende and Esposito, in-
sisted there was nothing "punitive"
about the request. "Our clients have
sustained hundreds of thousands of
dollars in damages," he said. "I see
this as a beginning of a warning to
area residents who resort to illegal
means to misuse the courts."
But Jack Carroll, CPWT's attorney,
noted that the developers rejected all
requests for a payment schedule.
"They said payment was expected in
full, immediately. Does $1,700 mean
so much to them? If it does, I wonder
if they have the credit rating to build
the building."
"This is a multi-million dollar con-
struction group," added Frizell.
"They are using the court costs as a
technique to intimidate community
groups."
The developers will not be allowed
to proceed with construction until
the appeal is heard, which Caroll es-
timates could take as long as four
months.DBarbara Solow
The Bro
Dx
Merger Nets Rehab Loans
Rehabilitation efforts in the Bronx
may get a boost, thanks to a proposed
merger between a Texas bank and a
local institution.
Earlier this year, leaders of the
Northwest Bronx Community and
Clergy Coalition's Reinvestment Com-
mittee learned that a merger was
planned between Chemical Bank and
the troubled Texas Commerce Bank.
1Wo years ago; according to commit- ,
tee co-chairperson Ted Panos, Chem-
ical had agreed to do long-term lend-
ing as a result of an NWBCCC chal-
lenge to the bank's application to
open a branch. The challenge was
based upon the bank's poor Commu-
nity Reinvestment Act performance.
After Chemical agreed to long-term
financing, Northwest Bronx with-
drew the challenge.
Under CRA, community involve-
ment is limited to periods when
banks open or close a branch or plan
a merger. NWBCC took advantage of
the Texas Commerce news. "We're try-
ing to involve banks in our Project
Reclaim to create affordable rents in
once-vacant buildings," said Sheila
Marin, who lives in Mount Hope and
is a member of the Reinvestment
Committee. Reclaim hopes to rehab
at least 1,500 abandoned, city-owned
untis throughout the Northwest
Bronx.
This time, coalition leaders plan-
ned a CRA challenge that again
brought Chemical to several meetings
and discussions. "The Fed encour-
aged Chemical to meet and talk with
us because the merger was impor-
tant," said Jim Buckley of the Rein-
vestment Project staff.
After several meetings between
bank representatives and coalition
leaders, bank vice chairman Richard
Simmons announced on March 20
that Chemical was creating a $25 mil-
lion.loan fund for permanent and con-
struction financing for loans spon-
sored by community groups. He
added that the bank looked forward
to working with Northwest Bronx to
create workable loan criteria.
Although the bank has not taken
further public action on the fund,
Robert Rosenblum, assistant vice
president in Chemical's Corporate So-
cial Responsibility Group, said that
the bank is serious about assisting
low and moderate income housing
and is working on the fund. He added
that the bank hopes to arrive at a
'mutually acceptable plan that can be
announced in the early summer.
Panos said he believes the program
is progressing. "Right now, they have
a cotlple of problems to work out. To
keep the post-rehab rents affordable
for our neighborhoods, they have to
lend at prime, not at market rates,
and the loan terms have to be 15, not
10, years."OLois Harr
Manhattan
Thnants at Risk
Every tenant living 'in public hous-
ing is "at risk" of becoming homeless
because of the shortage of replace-
ment housing, the Manhattan Task'
Force on Housing Court maintains.
Yet current definitions of "at risk"
. refer only to people who are mentally
or physically disabled, families with
small children and the elderly.
June' July 1987 CITY LIMITS 7
"Very often people don't raise the
issue for themselves - we want to
make sure that in court, judges are
aware of these circumstances," says
task force representative Betty Lor-
win. To make certain that public
housing residents get fair treatment,
the organization has started an exami-
nation of the specific procedures in-
volved in the eviction process for pub-
lic housing tenants. They will meet
with members of the Housing Author-
ity, the Human Resources Adminis-
tration and housing court to ascertain
what steps are taken - or need to be
instituted - to rrotect "at risk" ten-
ants from illega or unfair evictions.
Underscoring their concern, the ad-
vocates point to a recent letter from
Judge Margaret Taylor, criticizing the
housing court for its role in produc-
ing the eviction papers that resulted
in the death of Eleanor Bumpurs in
the Bronx in 1984, who was killed
during her eviction for failure to pay
one month's rent in public housing.
"Mrs. Bumpurs was evicted on a
default judgment of possession and
warrant of eviction issued without
any hearing of any kind," the judge
wrote. "She was never personally
served because, allegedly, she was
not at home on the two occasions the
process server says he called. Since
(she) did not appear in court to an-
swer the petition for her eviction, the
default judgment for possession and
warrant for her eviction was signed
by the Civil Court judge solely in the
papers submitted . . . there is serious
doubt about the validity of those pa-
pers."
The judge added that the social sys-
tem failed, police procedures were
"unwise" and the "wise and proper
procedures by another institution,
the Civil Court of the City of New
York, would also have prevented this
tragedy. "OMary Breen
Queens
Another One Down
Just as Flushing, Queens, is under-
going an explosion of development
and gentrification (see story on page
16), a major local agency geared to
prevent displacement of working-
class and elderly residents has been
defunded arid forced to close its
doors.
The death knell sounded for the
Flushing Housing Resource Center
last year when the city's Department
of Housing Preservation and Develop-
ment decided to issue open requests
for proposals for groups like the Hous-
ing Resource Center, which are
funded by community consultant
contracts. At the same time, it slashed
the budget by. 20 percent and insti-
tuted new criteria for judging reci-
pients, weighing heavily on the fed-
eral Community Development Block
Grant eligibility of the neighbor-
hoods in which they are located.
Since Queens has few CD-eligible
neighborhoods, it has been severely
affected by the change. Nine of the
borough's fifteen existing community
consultant groups were defunded,
giving it only six of the 62 groups
funded citywide. The Flushing Hous-
ing Resource Center became the first
of these to fold.
The agency was organized origi-
nally to work with apartment owners
by providing literature on home im-
provement programs, HPD loan pro-
grams and energy conservation. It
also assisted in rem owners pro-
grams and held workshops for build-
ing owners and superintendents. But
under the leadership of Elaine Calos,
its most recent director, the Resource
Center began directing some of its
energies toward helping tenants fight
displacement and in assisting senior
citizens with housing problems and
entitlements.
When the Flushing Housing Re-
source Center first lost its $100,000
annual funding, it received reduced
support from the Queens Borough
President's office and moved in with
its parent group, the Downtown
Flushing Development Corporation.
It struggled through staff layoffs until
Calos left and the decision was made
in April to discontinue operations en-
tirely.
Members of the Community Con-'
sultant Coalition, a citywide group of
agencies that receive HPD consultant
funding, say the experience of the
Flushing Housing Resource Center
underscores concerns about the new
RFP process jeopardizing successful
existing services. Other housing ac-
tivists say it points to fears that com-
munity-based housing' prograxns are
disappearing as the need for their ser-
vices inGrease.OIrma Rodriguez
8 CITY LIMITS Junel July 1987
PIPELINE
8ig Shady Dealings in Queens
Co-op Conversion

BY KATHY SILBERGER
FROM A MID-MANHATTAN ROOF-
top, North Shore Towers in Floral
Park looks like a distinctive jumble
of building blocks comprising the
largest construction for miles. The
classy Queens project, which casts its
shadow across the Nassau County
line, is home to hundreds of middle
and upper-middle class residents-
many of them senior citizens.
It was no . suprise in September,
1985, when word of the impending
co-op conversion of North Shere To-
wers filtered to the tenants. But the
ensuing conversion of North Shore
may have had some of the strangest
twists . in New York's seething co-op
market. On February 2, 1987, Manhat-
tan Supreme Court Justice William P.
McCooe approved the conversion
plan for North Shore Towers, conclud-
ing an ongoing dispute over the high-
est dollar-value co-op conversion
project in New York State.
Despite the judge's approval of the
conversion, many qJlestions remain,
including charges of incomplete
financial disclosure by the sponsors,
legality of a liquor store on the site
and ongoing rumors of investigations
by law enforcement agencies.
North Shore Towers dominates Floral Park's skyline: .
Fights among the partners are delaying the highest dollar-value co-op conver-
sion in th. state.
The recent boom of co-op conver- known for his international role as
sions has been accompanied by an . president of the World Jewish Con-
explosion of legal battles, with quar- gress.
rels that usually pit the sponsors and The BronfmaniSommer honey-
owners of a building or project moon ended when the conversion of
against the tenants. But at North North Shore began, with Jack Som-
Shore Towers, the disputing parties mer charging his partners in court
are the actual partners iIi the 1,800- with a host of irregularities and im-
unit, $677 million project. proprieties. Such charges are not new
Sigmund Sommer Properties origi- to Bronfman-held companies. In the
nally built North Shore Towers. The late 1970s and early '80s, Bronfman
company, now run by Sommer's son' and his associates were the subject of
Jack, hit hard times during the late numerous lawsuits and investiga-
1970s. To avoid bankruptcy, Jack Som- tions for alleged improprieties, in-
mer sold 49.9 percent of North Shore cluding illegal campaign contribu-
Towers to PMEC Quebec, which is tions, bribery of liquor authority offi.-
owned by Canadian financier Edgar cials and filing false information in
Bronfman. His other holdings in- the $2.07 billion takeover of st. Joe
clude Seagram, Toronto-Dominion Minerals Corporation.
Bank and Cadillac Fairview, one of Jack Sommer accuses his partners
the largest real-estate develo"pment of misrepresenting themselves by
companies in North America (and concealing information in the disclo-
now being bought for $2.02 billion by sure statement of the North Shore To-
JMB Realty). Bronfman is also well wers co-op offering plan about their
finacial interests, business holdings
and previous litigations. Following a
series of flip-flops - and reports of
ongoing investigations by other law
enforcement agencies - New York
State Attorney 'General Robert Ab-
rams' office issued its'approval ofthe
co-op conversion.
Although the Attorney General's
office conducted several separate in-
vestigations of the project, Sommer
charges it with taking a "cavalier at-
titude" towards Bronfman, claiming
the AG's actions "appear designed to
protect the private interests of a few
well-connected individuals."
The law firm Rosenman, Colin,
Freund, Lewis & Cohen, Esqs., attor-
neys for the Bronfman-family in-
terests and their associates, would
not comment on their clients' posi-
tion. However, documents filed in
court on behalf of their clients insist
Jack_ has. misstated the
facts, and his position is totally with-
out merit. "The Attorney General's
regulations ... do not call for disclo-
sure ... " of the type Sommer de-
manded, they wrote. Their court pa-
pers also contend that Sommer's alle-
gations about North Shore Towers
officials and the Bronfman family
" ... are based upon gross hearsay, vi-
cious innuendo and unsupported
speculations, and are clearly inad-
missible to prove ... " the substance
of any accusation.
Tenant Interests
Attorney General Robert Abrams'
decision to approve the conversion
plan has met with mixed reactions
among the North Shore Towers ten-
ants. Most residents, eager to secure
a valuable real estate investment, are
thankful for the endorsement of the
conversion plan. Others remain con-
fused by the accusations Sommer
continues to sling at his partners. One
outraged tenant complained that, as
a prospective buyer, she has been
poorly informed and poorly rep-
resented. "You don't know who to
trust," said the long-term resident of
North Shore Towers. But the majority
of the tenants interviewed claimed to
have no interest in the legal struggle.
Many residents, including active
members of the tenants' association,.
insist that the intra-management dis-
pute between the partners has no ef-
fect on the tenants. As one tenant put
it, "I don't think anyone knows the
whole story (behind the dispute), but
it doesn't bother me as long as I get
my money's worth."
But it is the tenants' perception of
getting their money's worth that has
Sommer worried. Most of his
partners are hidden behind a corpo-
rate veil in the prosepctus, and Som-
mer is concerned that if tenant!
buyer lawsuits arise they will be di-
rected at him. Effectively shut out of
the management of North Shore
when a management compay run by
Barry Schwartz - a Bronfman
crony.- took over operations of the
buildings, Sommer estimates that
monthly maintenace charges in the
prospectus h a v ~ been grossly undere-
stimated.
Some of the officers of the corpora-
tions listed on the sponsors' side have
been scrutinized by the Attorney Gen-
eral's office at Sommer's urging.
June' July 1987 CITY LIMITS 9
Schwartz, a principal of the co-spon-
sor and president of North Shore To-
wers Management, Inc., has a long
history of involvement in companies
that have gone bankrupt or have been
involved in litigation. One of
Schwartz's business interests, the
Liminad Trading Company, Ltd. , of
Montreal, an amusement machine
distribqtion company, listed him as
the sole vice president and one of just
(continued on page 22)
10 CITY LIMITS June/July 1987
PROGRAM FOCUS
Minding the City's
Participation Loans?
BY MIRIAM BENSMAN
IT SEEMED LIKE THE NIGHTMARE
might come to a happy end. In
November, 1985, the city awarded a
$600,000 Participation Loan for the
rehabilitation of 285 St. John's Place,
a badly battered but handsome build-
ing in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn,
that a previous owner had been trying
to empty with the usual methods of
terror and neglect.
But now the ending doesn't seem
so happy. Some tenants say the pro-
cess of restoring the 30-unit building
is itself a nightmare.
Since the installation of new wir-
ing, plumbing, windows, boiler,
kitchens and bathrooms began last
August, some tenants have had to
make do without bathrooms for as
long as six weeks. Tenant leader
Therese Scofield has lived under ex-
posed wiring for eight months. Newly
installed sinks, bathtubs and
radiators leak - damaging ceilings
and floors. Several tenants have been
robbed.
The situation at 285 St. John's
Street is no anomaly. Similar prob-
lems plagued Vanderveer Estates in
' East Flatbush five years ago, during
a $43 million rehabilitation of the
2,500-unit complex that was
financed by the Government National
Mortgage Association, Citibank and
the Department of Housing Preserva-
tion and Development's Participation
Loan Program. Many of the problems
there were cleared up only after a
legal settlement last year. Vanderveer
changed hands in March - for the
second time since the rehabilitation
package was initiated.
Beyond the Inevitable
At the Cosmopolitan Houses in
Woodside, Queens, where the last
phase of a $22.4 million PLP renova-
tion of 1,600 units is underway, ten-
ants are enduring shoddy work and
inconvenience that goes beyond the
inevitable in rehabilitating a home
with the resident in place.
In an audit of the Participation
Loan Program released in February;
State Comptroller Edward V. Regan
concluded that the Participation
Loan Program - the city's largest
housing rehabilitation loan pro-
gram - is not sufficiently monitored.
The report also concluded that the
program was not always used, as in-
tended by law, for buildings housing
low and moderate income people and
for ensuring post-rehabilitation rents
affordable to them. Other findings in
the audit included concern that ten-
ant support was not always enlisted,
that repair work was done poorly,
with numerous corrections delaying
completion, the city's field inspectors
were not careful enough and in-
adequately supervised and that ad-
ministrative processing of the loans
was too slow.
But HPD Assistant Commissioner
Jeff Armistead defended the program
as "very successful" as a "tool for
stabilizing buildings and neighbor-
hoods" without displacing tenants.
Michael Lappin, president of the
Community Preservation Corpora-
tion, the consortium of banks that is
the single largest private lender in the
program, said 95 precent of the job
is done reasonably well, but "the
most visible work at the end often
isn't."
"There's always a lot of pulling
teeth to get guys back at the end. It
a year for these things-
and everything that can go wrong,
does go wrong ... ," Lappin said.
"I tell people you're going to go
through a year of aggravation, and
after that get a rent increase - but the
key is getting the neighborhood re-
built," Lappin concluded.
The Participation Loan Program
was established under Article XV of
the the state's Private Housing
Financing Law of 1974 to upgrade pri-
vately-owned housing for low and
moderate income people and to
stabilize neighborhoods. Since its in-
ception in 1977, PLP has lent $170
million in city funds to upgrade
22,300 units, according to Armistead.
The program couples one percent
city loans with market rate loans to
refinance buildings and pay for the
The,..e Scofield at her St. JO,hn'. Place apartment:
rite landlord ripped aut tlte rehab work done by
tenant. belo,. he won a , percent I'Ll' loan from
the city.
moderate rehabilitation of multiple-
family buildings in neighborhoods
where private lenders are reluctant to
invest - "transitional" communities
like Washington Heights or Crown
Heights. The rehabilitation work,
which includes most major systems
and some apartment repairs, is in-
tended to extend the life of the build-
ings at least 40 years.
The city's low-interest loan, to-
gether with J-51 tax abatements, cuts
costs and moderates rent hikes. After
rehabilitation, the old stabilized or
controlled rents are restructured, so
that all apartments of one size cost
the same. Rents then fall under rent
stabilization.
The city demands that the loans be
paid on sale of the building and for-
bids loan repayment. within five
years - effectively barring co-op
conversion for that period.
Tenant approval of the rehabilita-
tion and rent ,restructuring are re-
quired, although at some projects
such as Cosmopolitan Houses, the re-
quirement was met by presenting the
proposed work and rents at one meet-
ing - in what tenant organizers call
a take-it-or-Ieave-it style.
At 285 St. John's Place, a somewhat
unusual case, tenants and HPD's Divi-
sion of Evaluation and Compliance
had been fighting the efforts of His-
toric Heights Realty to empty the
building, which was in receivership
and without most services. The ten-
ants, who were running the building
themselves, initially wanted to re-
habilitate the building under a 7 A ad-
ministrator. But HPD told the tenants
the building was too deteriorated for
,that program. Tenants next proposed
making the building a low-equity
cooperative under the Tenant Interim
Lease program, but Heights Realty
had sold the building to Jonathan
Eichner (younger brother of noted
landlord Bruce Eichner) and HPD
the tenants to work with
hIm.
The city lent $350,000 and the
Community Preservation Corp.
June' July 1987 CITY LIMITS 11
another $250,000. Rents for the five
occupied apartments - including
those occupied by squatters who had
been paying rent to the tenants associ-
ation - were restructured. One six-
room apartment went from $288 to
$446 a month, another from $388 to
$446. In a variation of the norm, HPD
allowed Eichner to rent five vacant
apartments at market rates: $1,200 for
the same six-room unit.
Bad Blood
Armistead said the tense situation
that developed between tenants and
landlord at 285 St. John's made the
work more difficult. Tenants say that
should have been predicted: Shortly
after buying the building in 1984,
Eichner ordered workmen to rip out
the wiring and windows and smash
the toilets and tubs that tenants had
installed in vacant apartments when
they ran the building. HPD had to
issue a restraining order.
,Not all PLP rehabilitations are such
horror stories. In fact, some, perhaps
many, are successes.
Take 2281, 2610, ' 2805 University
Avenue and 2609 Aqueduct Avenue,
four buildings with 165 units in the
Bronx that Orchard Mews Associates
is now renovating with $2 million
from the city and Aetna Realty Inves-
tors, Inc.
John Faulkner, general parmer in
Orchard Mews, had read about the
PLP program and a relationship that
the Northwest Bronx Community and
Clergy Coalition had developed with
Aetna on loan packages.
Faulkner began a planning process
that included repeated meetings with
tenants. By limiting the scope to
major building systems such as
plumbing, wiring and windows, aver-
age rent hikes, initially projected to
be 18 percent, were pared down to 10
percent - or about $90 per room.
Faulkner agreed not to collect lease
renewal increases during the process,
so rents rose only a little more than
they would have without any of the
improvements. Tenant leaders also
distributed Section 8 applications.
The result: In 2285 University, half
the tenants will receive Section 8 sub-
sidies.
Tenant involvement continued
after the scope was developed and the
loan approved; Faulkner drops by
once a week to see the super, tenants
and work in progress. He also
schedules meetings to give tenants a
ch.ance to say if they need additional
work and to discuss the scheduling
of work.
"I believe a personal ' management
style is the only way to manage this
type of building," he said. "If tenants
are living in dust and dirt, they want
to see you get a little dust on your
three-piece suit."
"We're not marketing PLP's as fan-
tastic things," said Jim Buckley, direc-
tor of the reinvestment project for
NWBCCC. "But it can be made to
work."O
Miriam Bensman is a freelance writer.

12 CITY LIMITS June' July 1987
FEATURE
"Quality Housing:" Coming
to Your Neighborhood Soon
BY JENNIFER STERN
& DOUG TURETSKY
I
magine that with a of a pen,
you could increase the number of
housing units produced in New
York City over the next 10 years by
up to 36,000 without spending a cent
of subsidy money. The housing pro-
duced would blend smoothly into
the fabric of existing neighborhoods,
and the apartments inside would be
relatively roomy and bathed in sun-
light from oversize windows. Each
building would have a landscaped
yard, adequate laundry and garbage
facilities and a desigp that would en-
courage the interaction of tenants in
hallways, making buildings more se-
cure. Finally, each building w.0';lld
be surrounded by lush and thnvmg
street trees.
All this is the aim of the Depart-
ment of City Planning's controversial
Quality Housing proposal, which if
passed - by the City Planning Com-
mission this month and the Board of
Estimate in August - will be the
sweeping change in New York's
zoning rules since the entire city was
rezoned 1961. The change will af-
fect more than 4,000 blocks and. will
make lots of 10,000 to 25,000 square
feet more desirable for private de-
velopment than under the current
rules.
What is not being claimed for
Quality Housing is that it will pro-
duce housing for those who need it
most - New York's low and moder-
ate income residents. Quality Hous
ing wll benefit families earning
$43,000 a year or more. AlthouRh the
prop'osal permits changes in Duild-
ing aesign that could make construc-
tion less expensive, there's no
mechanism to require that savings
be passed on to tenants. According
to the Enivronmental Impact State-
ment for Quality Housing, which es-
timates that the program may spur
the construction of up to 36,000 new
units over the next 10 40 per-
C
ity planners say Quality Housing will
spark development of new housing
construction. But many community lead-
ers - and builders - are wary of the
proposal.
cent of the apartments created would
only be affordable to families with
incomes above $61,000. These apart-
ments would be built in neighbor-
hoods such as Boerum Hill/Cobble
HilllFourth Avenue in ijrooklyn,
Manhattan's Lower East -Side and
Forest Hills and Elmhurst in Queens
on sites zoned R6 through R10 ..
Yet by increasing the amount of
housing in the city (a report by the
Pratt Institute Center for Community
and Environmental Development
published last year estimated
231,000 new units are needed to
close the housing gap) the drafters
of the new zoning plan hope the old
law of supply and demand will work
its magic, if not by making new hous-
ing cheaper, then by relieving pres-
sure on existing housing and thus
attenuating gentrification.
But Bonnie Brow.er. executive di-
rector of the Association for Neigh-
borhood and Housing Development,
dismisses that logic. At a recent
forum on the Quality Housing pro-
posal, she told Arnold Kotlen and
Sandy Hornik - two of the key plan-
ners behind the proposal- "You
are not only missing dealing with the
housing crisis, you'll be exacerbating
it."
Four Years in the Making
The whole process that produced
the current Quality Housing pro-
posal constituted a lot more than "a
Sandy Hornik on Quality HaUling:
"As p.op/. ".g;n to und.rstand what ;t can do, th.y ".g;n
stroke of the pen." It began almost
four years ago, when the City Plan-
ning Commission, concerned about
the Ipw rate of housing production
in the city (less than 10,000 units per
City planner Arnold Katlen:
He .ay. Qua/if)' Hau.ing can .pur tlte de.,e/op-
ment of up to 36,000 new unit. o.,er JO years.
year over the.1ast 10 years), directed
the Department of City planning to
investigate the situation.
The planners found that the cur-
rent zoning, passed in 1961, discour-
ages private market housing develop-
ment: In attempting to increase the
amount of open space in the city, it
requires that buildings cover only a
small (approximately 20 percent)
portion of a lot. This encourages de-
velopers to build costly 4igh-rise
buildings and discourages construc-
tion on small lots. City planners also
found that the last great spurt of
multi-family housing construction
occurred in the late 1950s and early
'60s, during the grace period before
the new zoning was implemented.
The old zoning prescribed the build-
ing of shorter buildings covering
more 'of a lot - these older buildings
characterize most of the city's estab-
lished neighborhoods.
The planners concluded that the
new zoning should encourage build-
ings that more closely resemble
existing buildings, accomplishing
the objectives of making construc-
June' July 1987 CITY LIMITS 13
tion easier and encouraging build-
ings that more easily fit into neigh-
borhoods. They also decided that
Quality Housing buildings should
require a number of amenities above
and beyond those already required
by the building code.
More than 100 pages of zoning-
speak are dedicated to the legal de-
scription of a Quality Housing build-
ing. A few aspects can be sum-
marized in what city planners call
"Quality Housing Program Ele-
ments," which are grouped into five
categories.
The first, Neighborhood Impact, is
concerned mostly with the bulk of
the building. A front "sky exposure
plane" would ensure the building's
height remains within the context of
the surrounding neighborhood, and
a "rear "sky exposure plane" would
ensure that light and air reaches rear
apartments. Street trees with trunks
at least three inches in diameter
planted every 25 feet in front of the
are among the other require-
aments.
Recreation Space, the second cate-
iii gory, sets standards for indoor and
outdoor mixed-use and child-use
space. The program requires that
about half the open space be planted.
City planners argue that because of
these requirements, Quality Housing
would provide as much usable space
as the current zoning, with its lower
lot coverage rules, because the cur-
rent zoning allows much of the open
space to be used for parking. Parking
requirements have been reduced for
Quality Housing buildings - a very
controversial issue in some neigh-
borhoods.
The third category is Security and
Safety, designed to make the build-
ings less hospitable to crime. No
more than 15 apartments are allowed
to open onto a single corridor;
elevators or stairs in the lobby would
have to be visible from the street; out-
door open space must be fenced and
visible from public areas within the
building; entrances to garages or be-
tween garages and buildings would
be locked; and residents must be able
to see elevators or stairs from the
doors of their apartments.
Under the category Building In-
terior, the proposed zoning regulates
a number of things, including dwell-
ing-unit size (a minimum of 415
square feet com pared to the 200
square feet currently permitted),
minimum window size, waste dis-
posal and on-site garbage storage
and mandatory laundry rooms, with
a minimum number of washers and
dryers per apartment.
The fifth category contains ele-
ments that are encouraged but not
required. Builders are encouraged to
bring daylight into corridors - the
incentive is that halls will not be
counted toward the total floor area
permitted in the building - and to
provide terraces and balconies - re-
ducing to a small extent the open
space requirement.
Apart from the fifth category, all
the elements are mandatory. But if
developers accept the Housing Qual-
ity package, they get to build as-.of-
right, freeing them from the commu-
nity review process.
As-of-Right
Developers are ecstatic over the
move towards more as-of-right de-
velopment. Says Stephen Spinola,
president of the Real Estate Board of
New York, "Everything that is more
as-of-right is a step in the right direc:..
tion."
Predictably, community leaders
are much less enthusiastic. The
Quality Housing proposal is techni-
cally a text change, so it doesn't have
14 CITY LIMITS Junel July 1987
to go through the Uniform Land Use
Review .Procedure. Although city
planners voluntarily sent the pro-
poal to community boards for review,
neighborhood leaders feel their re-
commendations will not have the
weight they do under ULURP. Margo
Belisle, executive director of the Flat-
bush Development Corporation, ar-
gues, "No as-of-right situation
should be created without public
scrutiny."
Despite the possibility of being
freed from community review, many
developers remain opposed to Qual-
ity Housing. They complain that the
Quality Housing elements are too re-
strictive and will actually increase
the cost of housing. Hornick and Kal-
ten disagree. Their studies show that
the cost of providing the required
amenities is from 50 cents to $2 per
square foot "If you think the de-
veloper is going to sell it cheaper be-
cause we take out all the quality as-
pects, you're nuts," says Kolten.
With or without the "quality as-
pects," community leaders are con-
cerned that the cost of the housing
encouraged by the program will
speed gentrification of many neigh-
borhoods. Bonuses that permit up to
23 percent more floor area than al-
lowed under current zoning, on wide
streets (at least 75 feet wide), also
troubles many community leaders.
Activists fear that in many neighbor-
hoods ripe for development - from
the Lower East Side to Flatbush to
Jamaica - the additional floor area
will make it to empty and
demolish buildings that are smaller
than the zoning permits. "We'll see
an increase in harassment of tenants
and warehousing of apartments,"
predicts Joe Center, executive direc-
tor of Valley Restoration Local De-
velopment Corporation.
Blockbusting
That is a particular concern of An:
thony Atlas, chairman of Commu-
nity Board 6 in Queens, which
covers the neighborhoods of Forest
Hills and Rego Park. "What their
(city planners) plan would do is en-
courage builders to buy up small
houses and demolish them," he says.
Atlas charges that the Quality Hous-
ing proposal "encourages a cheaper
grade of construction with a com-
pletely uncontrolled selling price."
Joe Center of Valley Restoration LOC:
He calls Quality Housing "the worst planning CPC has Jane in years. "
The net result, he says, "will line the
pockets of developers throughout
the city. "
Kolten says community leaders'
concerns that Quality Housing will
pave the way for tearing down one-
and two-family houses or small
apartment buildings are unfounded.
According to the current zoning
rules, he argues that can already hap-
pen on underutilized lots. This new
form 6f blockbusting is already un-
derway in some parts of Queens,
where developers are buying a clus-
ter of _ small houses and erecting
apartment buildings.
The Quality Housing bonuses for
developers may make this process
more profitable. "While I agree with
City Planning that this is going on
already, why encourage it?" asks
Center.
To city planners, the answer is sim-
ple - more housing. KoHen and
Hornick believe that additional
units, no matter what the cost, will
help alleviate the housing crisis. But
Brian SuUivan,_ senior planner at the
Pratt Institute Center, argues, "The
problem is that analysis fails to take
into account the induced housing
demands." With some 30,000 new
white-collar jobs created each year,
Sullivan believes any units created
at the price . range of Quality
Hosuisng will just go to people who
would have lived in the suburbs.
"The housing crisis is for people liv-
ing in sub-standard units or are dou-
bled up or homeless," adds Sullivan.
Housing activists also dismiss city
planners' contention that these new
"middle class" units will reduce the
pressures of gentrification in neigh-
borhoods where old, lower rent
apartments are being co-oped or con-
doed. "If the market doesn't provide
it in new units, it provides it in exist-
ing units," says Hornick. With the
new units created through Quality
Housing, there will be fewer people
competing for the housing stock, ex-
plains Hornick. But Sullivan argues
there's "no one-to-one elimination"
in this process. .
While Manhattan luxury develop-
ers find many things wrong with the
proposal, smaller builders are re-
sponding positively. Joseph
Gherardi, president of the Queens
County Builders and Contractors As-
sociation, says that his organization
is 100 percent behind the program,
although they'd like to see some
modifications. Gherardi says he
knows of seven or eight builders
ready to proceed with projects under
Quality Housing.
Hornick says that in recent months
a number of architects have come in
to dis.cuss Quality Housing projects.
''As people begin to understand what
it can do they begin to like it," says
Kolten.
But Wila Appel, executive director
of the Citizens Housing and Plan-
ning Council, had the opposite reac-
tion. Appel worked closely with city
planners in the development of the
"
Junel July 1987 CITY LIMITS 15
If developers accept the Housing Quality package, they get to
build as-of-right, freeing them from the community review
process.
proposal and testified in favor of it
at an April 1 CPC hearing. But a
month later, at a second hearing,
Appel spoke against the proposal.
"In light of the city's lack of afforda-
ble housing, we find Quality Hous-
ing inappropriate and unsupporta-
ble." Appel now believes Quality
Housing will increase displacment
of lower income tenants because the
apartments that will result from the
program are too expensive for the re-
sidents of the neighborhoods city
planners have targeted.
Many housing advocates agree
with Appel's assessment. The "pen
stroke" to simplify building in the
city resulted in more than 100 pages
of complicated rule changes. Margo
Belisle wonders why some of the
"best minds" in city planning have
concentrated on this relativley small
program instead of dealing with the
"real" issues of low income housing.
One million dollars were spent and
countless hours of city planners'
time charged to a proposal that many
believe will exacerbate the housing
problem for the city's poorest resi-
dents.D
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16 CITY LIMITS June/July 1987
FEATURE
Growing Pains
Scar Downtown Flushing
R
iches. from Taiwan and Hong Kong are
being invested in downtown Flushing,
where fast growth is marred by arson and
fears of displacement. But most exploited
are the unskilled Asians flocking to the
community.
BY BEVERLY CHEUVRONT
A
recent explosion of develop-
ment in the once-quiet retail
hub of Flushing, Queens, has
. been a trial by fire for many of its
residents and small business owners.
Rapid growth in the formerly work-
ing-class community is punctuated
by arson, with high-priced condos,
commercial and retail pro-
jects emerging from the ashes.
The fastand flashy development in
downtown Flushing is being fueled
by dollars from Hong Kong and
Taiwan, creating an enclave of weal-
thy Asians in the community. Racial
tensions surfaced with the influX of
some 40,000 Koreans, 30,00'0 Chinese
and 7,000 Indians in recent years. But
community activists say much of the
friction represents an economic con-
flict between wealthy Asians and the
working-class residents. In fact, low
income Asian are among
the most exploited, as single family
houses and new condos are purchased
by investors who carve them up into
tiny cubicles that are rented as rooms
to the newcomers.
Activists say many longtime down-
town residents - especially the el-
derly - are worried as they see their'
community transformed from a
placid shopping district to a teeming
international bazaar of street
dors, mini malls and Asian banks.
"We are no longer living in Flush-
ing - we are living in Manhattan,"
says Isabella Mauri, president of the
Greater Flushing Tenants Council.
The crush of shoppers, the blaring
horns, the jammed subway cars and
buses are the results of rapid growth
coupled with slow planning. They
also are the legacy of the late Borough
President Donald Manes and the
political machine he commailded.
Arson Clears Development Path
A decade ago, downtown Flushing
was suffering from urban blight, with
stores closing and unemployment
and . crime increasing. The area's
economic decline turned around in
1983, after a series of arson fires
burned out a block of stores, clearing
the way for a high-riseresidential and
commercial complex.
That project was built by Thomas
Huang, a 34-year-old Taiwanese de-
veloper who almost single-handedly
changed the face of downtown Flush-
ing. He boasts that he currently has
$63 million in residential and com-
mercial construction underway in the
area.
"Controversial" is the adjective
most frequently applied to the power-
ful Huang, a Taiwan native who im-
migrated to the u.s. in 1970. Huang,
who is a member of the New York
Main St .... t Plaza:
Thoma. Huang'. proj.ct ri... ov.r downtown
Flu.hing.
City Partnership'S board Of directors,
was recently described by The New
York Times as "the most active Asian-
American development entrepreneur
in the city." According to a spokeswo-
man for his construction company,
the developer got his start in the u.s.
as a partner in a firm that built small
residential and commercial projects
in Flushing.
He was closely allied with Manes;
who appointed the developer to
downtown Flushing's Community
Board 7. Huang served on the board
even while his projects were coming
before it. When resident Mildred
Braverman questioned the propriety
of this, Manes responded with a letter
stating that he had "made a responsi-
ble decision" in appointing HuaQ.g to
the board. This year, Queens Borough
President Claire Shulman dropped
Huang from the community board,
with a spokesman stating that "his
attendance did not warrant reap-
pointment." Phone logs for Manes,
June' July 1987 CITY LIMITS 17
which were made public during the
trial of Bronx Democratic leader Stan-
ley Friedman, indicate that Manes
met frequently with Huang.
Huang first came to public scrutiny
in 1982, when seven stores were de-
stroyed by arson fires on a block of
Main Street between Sanford Avenue
and 41st Street. Before the fires
started, Huang had attempted to buy
out the long-term commercial leases
held by the merchants. When they
" learned of Huang's plan, the mer-
chants tried to buy the land from
owner Green Point Savings Bank. The
bank refused, but after the fire in-
voked a cancellation of their leases.
Then Green Point sold the property
to Huang's Asian Plaza Corp. for $5
million.
In 1985, as Huang was seeking a
zoning variance for a 15-story com-
plex on the site, a restaurant adjacent
to it was firebombed. ~ ' S o m e o n e is de-
liberately and systematically trying
to oust those storekeepers who have
longstanding leases," State Senator
Leonard Stavisky said at the time. He
demanded that the variance not be
acted on until an investigation was
held to look into the fires.
No charges were ever filed in the
arson cases, and Huang withdrew his
request and constructed a smaller as-
of-right commercial and residential
project. The 13-story Main Street
Plaza has almost sold out its apart-
ments, which start with studios at
$150,000, says Huang's spokeswo-
man.
Theater Debate
Another Huang project that roused
community ire is his redevelopment
of the RKO-Keith Theater, which he
is considering for a hotel, shopping
mall or movie theater. In 1984, the
Landmarks Preservation Commis-
sion wanted to landmark the entire
1928 Spanish villa-style theater, but
Manes asked the Board of Estimate
to reject that proposal, and the board
approved only the landmarking of the
lobby, staircase and ticket booth.
Huang bought the theater in 1986
for $4 million, with promises to main-
tain the landmarked portions. But ac-
cording to Regina Colletta, district
manager of Community Board 7,
when Huang started construction,
"parts of the landmarked portions
were destroyed."
Residents filed a complaint when
the demolition began, says Bruce
Bernstein of the Flushing Preserva-
tion Council. He says the buildings
department ha"s suspended its per-
mit, pending an investigation into the
demolition of the theater, which now
sits boarded up at the intersection of
Main Street and Northern Boulevard.
Huang's spokeswoman would not
comment on the issue, except to say
that "we are only trying to make the
RKO a new attraction to Flushing."
Last year, Huang lost a bid to con-
struct a $156 million office and resi-
dential project on a downtown Flush-
ing municipal parking lot after it was
reported that he gave interests in his
HKW Development Corp. to Sidney
Davidoff, a close friend of Manes, and
to Paul Kapchan, president of a local
Democratic Club. Davidoff, a lawyer,
told the Daily News that his firm,
Stein, Davidoff & Malito, represented
Huang on other real estate matters.
The Public Development Corpora-
!E tion awarded the project to a partner-
~ ship of William Zeckendorf Jr. and
... Jonathan Woodner. Their $100 mil-
O lion project will include two apart-
i1 ment towers, an office building, a re-
i- __ ......;......; ______ .. ~ tail mall and underground parking.
- .. Huang also has an eight-story retail
Workers rebuild Flushing:
A commercial development is going up on part 0'
tlte bloc" tltat was burned out by a .erie. 0' fire .
and office tower under construction
across from the RKO theater, another
one planned for a site behind the the-
ater, and several similar projects in
Elmhurst and Rego Park.
Ratty Buildings
Many area leaders herald the ef-
fects of revitalization in their commu-
nity. At Downtown Flushing Develop-
ment Corporation, which was formed
to counter the decline of the '70s,
executive director Myra Herce points
'out that the retail hub consists of "ar-
chitecturally insignificant build-
ings - in other words, they are ratty."
Others are less enthusiastic. Board
7's Colletta notes that "there is a ques-
tion whether we can carry the addi-
tional retail stores or bear the conges-
tion. Planning is taking place after
the fact."
"Gentrification is affecting small
business and small stores that are
being forced to close down," said one
leader of the Flushing Asian commu-
nity, who did not want her name
used. "On one hand, people feel there
is a need for some kind of develop-
ment, but they do not want to see it
go too far." .
OQservers say that small stores in
downtown Flushing change hands
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18 CITY LIMITS June' July 1987
Downtown Flushing's economic decline turned around in 1983
after a series of arson fires burned out a block of stores, clearing
the way for a high-rise residential and commercial complex.
rapidly. As the older businesses
close, they generally are replaced
with businesses that cater to the
Asian community.
"There is a large Jewish community
here," says Mauri. "Many are leaving
Flushing after retiring because they
can't get kosher goods any more. They
feel at a loss because the delis are
being replaced with flea markets and
jeans stores."
Several of the larger stores down-
town have been converted to mini
malls, with small booths that sell ev-
erything from canned goods to fur
coats to socks. These changes in the
community are a favorite topic at a
plaza next to the downtown library,
where seniors come to sun and
socialize.
"I don't know what's going to be-
come of us," one man echoes a famil-
iar sentiment about the escalating
rents and prices.
Shopp.rs .troll on' fi ... bomb.d block:
Some .ltop. a/anp tlti' strip w .... fi ... bomb.d; otlt.rs in tit. b/ocl, w .... d.-
stroyed by arson In J983.
But not all perceive change as
threatening. One gray-haired woman
says she enjoys the new diversity in
the area, adding that she can enter-
tain perself by watching people from
all over the world pass by.
Housing Pressures Rise
"In the last five years, a lot of luxury
apartments have been coming in, and
, longtime residents are concerned that
they will be priced out of their apart-
ments," observes Colletta. "The hous-
ing market has skyrocketed over the
past few years."
Mauri says the construction of new
co-ops and condos is taking a toll on
older residents. "There is a realty
office in Hong Kong that deals just
with Flushing property," she says.
"Ther are coming in here with bags-
ful 0 money. We have a lot of people
who have retired, and they can no
longer afford to live here."
Flushing tenants are beginning to
suffer the harassment that is typical
of other gentrifying communities in
the city. "Landlords are letting build"
ings run down - and there are
freeze-outs in the winter - so their
buildings can be emptied out and co-
oped," Mauri continues.
Residential fires are becoming com-
monplace, Bruce Bernstein says.
"Fires strike a lot of single-family
frame buildings. It seems that almost
overnight, brick three- and four-story
units are rebuilt and sometimes sold
as condos."
Bernstein says his organization is
especially concerned with what it
views as the exploitation of the poor
Asian immigrants, who can afford
only small rooms in subdivided
apartments.
''A wealthy landlord - usually
Asian - buys a co-op or condo, then
divides the room with screens,"
Mauri explains. A two-bedroom
apartment can house up to 15 indi-
viduals, all paying hefty rents for
their cubicles, she says. In one in-
stance, Mauri charges, a builder is
creating a new SRO with single
rooms, each equipped with a toilet
and basin.
"We don't condone these because
of the fire hazard, " says Colletta. She
says the board has been especially
vigilant about the newly creatd SROs
since a tenant died in a fire in one
several years ago. Not all of the illegal
SROs are operated by Asian land-
lords, she notes, but Asian owners
generally comply when the board or-
ders them to shut down.
"That's a historical coiIicidence,
following the pattern of growth of im-
migrant ghettos from the 1800s," ac-
cording to Sam Sue, who is studying
the development of housing in New
York City's Chinatown. Sue says that
area's tenements began with the same
process of subdividing middle in-
come row houses.
Mauri reports other housing abuses
involving low income immigrants. In
one instance, the owner of a building
complex that was being co-opped
told his immigrant tenants that they
would have to buy their apartments
or be evicted. They did not under-
stand English, did not know their
rights as rent stabilized tenants and
were afraid to seek help, she says.
It may seem like a long trip from
Chinatown to Flushing, but Brooklyn
College anthropologist Roger Sanjek
says a thriving job market in Flushing
area hospitals in the late '60s first en-
couraged Asian medical personnel to
settle in the area.
One Asian-American community
leader who grew up in Flushing says
that as Chinatown families become
more affluent, they move from the
city's overcrowded tenements to two-
family homes in Greater Flushing. As
the Asian community began to grow,
wealthy Taiwanese and Hong Kong
natives "used Flushing as a base for
development because there is not
much room for them to go in
Chinatowri - there's much bigger
money in Flushing," he says.
According to Sanjek, educated
Asians who settled in Flushing
turned to small businesses to earn
their livelihoods, providing in turn a
job base for unskilled immigrants.
Garment factories w e r ~ established
and Flushing became "a center for
dispersal for people whQ work in
Chinese restaurants throughout Long
Island, " the professor says.
"There is visible resentment, espe-
cially as the elderly who have lived
there a long time see the stores change
and the neighborhood slip away,"
Sanjek says. "But the change would
have happened anyway, and many of
the stores that closed were suffering
because of the economy. "0
Junel July 1987 CITY LIMITS 19
ORGANIZE
Parents on the Move
Ruth Young ot porents' protest:
She leads Parents on the Move at the 8rooklyn Arm he/ter hotel.
BY B. J. KOWALSKI
RUTH YOUNG, PRESIDENT OF PAR-
ents on the move, was explaining her
organization to a Harlem meeting of
Women for Racial and Economic
Equality. "People at the Brooklyn
Arms Hotel organized Parents on the
Move. We decided we needed to be
organized because the politicians
and everybody else are not listening."
Parents on the Move represents the
262 homeless families staying at the
hotel at 268 Ashland Place, across the
street from the Brooklyn Academy of
Music. Members say they are the only
group organized to defend the rights
of "welfare hotel residents" in one of
the city's 57 special hotels that house
people on public assistance.
paM negotiates with hotel manage-
ment for better living conditions. It
provides a support network, referring
new residents to services and keeping
abreast of what's going on with long-
term residents. In its brief two-year
history, it has succeeded in stopping
evictions, establishing a part-time
clinic for hotel residents and recrea-
tional programs for youth, and impro-
ving the hotel's security force.
Raun Rasmussen, a lawyer with
South Brooklyn Legal Services,
which offers legal services to the
group, said paM is very effective.
"They have improved the quality of
life for everyone in the hote!," he said.
Adeyemi Bandele of Assemblyman
Roger Green's office added, "They
have begun to sensitize the manage-
ment."
Parents on the Move members have
found the city to be slow in respond-
ing to their problems, so when they
can't come up with a solution them-
selves, they contact other groups and
individuals working around the
housing crisis. With Colony-South
Brooklyn House, a settlement house
on Dean Street, they have set up ka-
rate classes for their children. Roger
Green's office helps with leadership
training. If there's an event involving
the homeless or housing, chances are
that paM will be there. On any given
week, Young might attend meetings
with the Housing Justice Campaign,
the Mayor's Advisory Task Force on
the Homeless, the Union of the Home-
less, or City Council Member Abe
Gerges' Committee on the Homeless.
That's all in addition to paM's own
weekly meetings - and caring for
her six children.
Common Goals
Brooklyn Arms residents want the
same things everyone wants: educa-
tion and health care for themselves
and their children. Permanent, afford-
able housing. A secure enviornment,
free of drug pushers and loan sharks.
With about 3,000 people in one build-
ing, including 1,500 children, Brook-
lyn Arms residents face all the pro-.
blems of the urban poor, but on a
more intense level.
Most residents would like to move
out, but there is a minimum 18-month
wait before the city will offer the .
homeless permanent housing in re-
habbed buildings. "After 18 months
in here, you lose your initiative and
drive," said one paM member. .
"If I left here, I could find a place
for $500 or $600 a month," said Edith
Brown. "But we're only allowed $244
a month for rent. The city would
rather pay that money to the hotel
than give us permanent housing."
City officials contend that federal
emergency housing funds used to pay
for the hotel rooms cannot legally be
used for subsidizing rents in perma-
nent housing.
But that explanation offers little
solace to Young or other paM mem-
bers. "It's like a jail term, corning in
here," said Young. "If you're not
strong, you won't come out the
same."
She said people cope better if they
know their rights, but the city won't
tell them. "We try to tap into new
people and let them know that, if
you're here for 28 days, you have
rights," she added. After 28 days, a
resident legally cannot be locked out
of the room without notice. "They
can call the police if they're locked
out," said Young. "Then they can get
legal services."
Neighbors
Criminals in the building harass re-
sidents. "There's a loan shark living
right in this hotel," said Young. "He
came to my door and made my daugh-
ter cry. I had to set him straight."
Other residents said crack is sold
throughout the building. Recently,
drug dealers kidnapped two children
and tried to force them to sell d r ~ g s ,
said Young. The children were re-
turned. But the crack sales continue.
"We have asked the police in to deal
with the crack situation," said Young.
"We don't think our children should
have to be subjected to drugs." Then
paM asked a group of former addicts,
Men Against Crack, to work with
20 CITY LIMITS Junel July 1987
them in combating' the drug pro-
blems.
With diseases like chicken pox,
measles, scarlet fever and ringworm
raging through the hotel, health care
is a major concern. 'Lately, a new
health threat has surfaced - sores on
a child's body were' diagnosed as a
fungus that came from the walls.
Young said her children have never
been sick as much as they have in the
year she's been in the hotel.
As a result of POM's work around
health care, the South Brooklyn Med-
ical Center has set up , a clinic for
Brooklyn Arms residents at the Salva-
tion Army on Ashland Place. Doctors
treat children on Thesdays and adults
on Fridays. A spokesman for the Sal-
vation Army .said Medicaid pays the
bills, but if a patient doesn't have
Medicaid, the clinic will seek other
funding sources. Patients 'will not be
turned away if they don't have insur-
ance . .
Luanda Carter, a member of POM's
executive. board, coordinates ac-
tivities between the ,clinic and the
hotel. The clinic is especially impor-
tant because many residents are af-
raid to leave their rooms for long.
"They're afraid of being locked out,"
said Carter. She mentioned one resi-
dent who is seven months pregnant,
yet has not seen a doctor for this
reason.
Another POM member needs a
heart operation. But she worries that,
if she leaves for the hospital, her chil-
drenmight hot be there when she gets
back. She has cause for worry-
when one tenant was hospitalized in
March, her five children, including a
lo-month-old baby, were taken by the
Human Resources Administration's
Special Services for Children. "SSC
snatched them, " said Young.
Young noted that this is a change
in HRA policy - splitting up a fam-
ily. She thinks the children would
have been much better staying to-
gether in the hotel, under a friend's
care. But HRA now requirel? that, if a
parent is incapacitated, the children
must.be with a family. If none is avail-
able, they will be institutionalized.
HRXs Earl Weber could not say
whether HRA policy had changed.
He did say that in the case of sudden
illness of a parent, SSe. and the
Bureau of Child Welfare are informed,
and a caseworker is sent to take care
of the child. "Which may mean re-
moval to some place within the sys-
tem," said Weber.
Young said women in the hotel live
in fear of the SSC. "It's a terrible thing
to have your children taken from
you," she said. "It is something that
is held over every mother's head."
At Parents on the Move meetings,
members say repeatedly that they are
trying to make life better for their chil-
dren. But people at the Brooklyn
Arms are worried about the possibil-
ity of their kids becoming "the emo-
tional misfits of tomorrow." Most
families in the hotel have four or more
children. Often, just trying to keep
the kids healthy cind get them to
school is a struggle.
Colony House has promised help
'h ... _I .. i.. Is too seve:re
balrldlealone. UlE[aoult&.
iW"t HlKooefUlJlv. thts
comtt
in
.
police are Uf.t,.
intlliml!lIm@ as 10l.l8 as ,pm!
nmlUUD in the and
'fitWn8toJle ttl thum
e

w conun 'It'
we.ue out he:re today our
Children are therewatd of
gani%er life:' POMp:resident Ruth Young
Bast Side. exhOrted over ber bullhotn. "Look
Alfredo Gonzalez of tlte Union atthese babies," she said. pointing
of the Homeless ura8d . le to
l
the numerous childrencatrying
organize. He noted ' tbit signs and flyers. "They are what
I<ocb is advocatins a plan the struggle is Why should
$100 million on new sJu,ltm ........ olP' chifrfren be forced li-y;e in
not , f>emianent hou. .. types of conditio " ;;i"
Brooklyn, Queens:Manhattan '" . . Young criticized
the. Bronx. "Why?" he ial services fotChill ren;,)' for
cause they don't want us. to have "snatclUng
permanent housing. They want us + who have to go int<} the hospital.
to get out of the inner city. Because They take the wrong children-
in the inner"cities we canmganize the childrell who are bei!18 abused
and improve our conditions.'; are not taken. Who are they (SSC)
As Gonzatez spoke. D-size bat to God with our lives?"
teries were thrown into the crowd. She appealed to Brooklyn Anns
Peopleduck.ed and looked around. residents to "stand up and Qght.
but they coutinued the dem.onstra- Because the chi!dtim depend on
tipn. ..l1arlene loshya, a ROMwh us'" OB.JX ",1
member.. snook lier
in setting up a drop-in daycare center
for children at the hotel. But a glitch
in the bureaucracy is holding up the
daycare. The money and space is av-
ailable. but HRA says that as long as
the city has a moratorium on SRO
conversions. it can't convert a resi-
dential room into a daycare center.
Parents are also asking for better
services at P.S. 38. where the student
body is 40 to 60 percent Brooklyn
Arms children. depending on which
Board of Education list you look at.
The school does provide a special
reading lab for about 60 of the kids.
"But what about the rest?" asked Bar-
bara Williams. ''And how about the
younger children?" Vanessa 'frent
wants to know. "My child is being
turned off to school in the first grade.
She comes home ready to fight."
Junel July 1987 CITY LIMITS 21
Brooklyn Arm. family Join. rally: .
S.an and iii. fa".., Tony w.,. among tit. Itot.' famlli taking to tit. ,t,..t.
to d.mand b."., eondft/on,. .
....
...
...
Q
(5

::::!
it
"Brooklyn Arms children are sub-
jected to more garbage than other
children at P.S. 38." said Young. Other
parents said their children are stig-
matized for living in a welfare hotel.
So POM goes to PTA meetings and
school board meetings to plead their
case.
and to break through stereotypes
about the homeless.
"People think homelessness is
something that happens to somebody
else." said Young. "We say. 'You are
just one paycheck away from being
homeless ...
housing. and she said the or-
ganizaiton has skilled members who
can do the work to make abandoned
buildings livable.
Parents on the Move is trying to
keep all bases covered. They are plan-
ning several public events in the next
few months. including street fairs on
July 11 and August 29 to raise money
Young calls transitional housing "a
form of prostitution." a big
moneymaker for the city and the land-
lords. POM wants to buy its own
Parents on the Move won't let any-
thing stop them. As Ruth Young says
when she addresses meetings, "Get
involved. Let's make some
changes. "0
B. J. Kowalski is a freelance writer.
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about $2 million a year in sales, the
company showed no profits over
seven years of operations and eventu-
ally filed bankruptcy in April, 1979.
Schwartz, in a June c.ourt hearing that
year, was ordered to pay Toronto-
Dominion Bank $47,000 for a de-
faulted loan. One of the major inves-
tors in the bank is Bronfman.
Schwartz failed to report this busi-
ness venture, a violation ofthe Martin
Act - which requires detailed finan-
cial reports from sponsors and their
associates in a co-op conversion.
A pending lawsuit involving a 1981
charge of securities fraud by, among
others, the Bronfman-owned CEMP
investment company, also was not
disclosed by Schwartz, who is an offi-
cer of CEMP.
Additional financial transactions
such as a $41.2 million loan by Bank
Boston Real Estate Capital to Glades
Road Associates in 1985, of whom
Barry Schwartz was one of two prin-
cipals listed, also failed to make
Schwartz's discosure report.
The Attorney General's office re-
plies that it is satisfied with the
findings of its investigations of North
Shore Towers. In some instances
where additional information was
deemed necessary, Schwartz was al-
lowed to amend his statements.
According to Tim Gilles of the At-
torney General's office, "Nothing that
showed up appeared to harm the val-
idity of the offering plan" or consti-
tute "fraud against tenants or pur-
chasers."
But questions also remain about a
liquor store on the North Shore To-
wers site. An investigation was begun
last fall by the New York State Liquor
Authority into the operation of the
Glen Oaks Liquor Store. According to
the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law,
a liquor manufacturer cannot run a
retail store - but allegedly
Bronfman, who owns Seagram, also
has an interest in this store.
Jack Sommer plans to continue
waging war with his partners, but he
appears to be fighting a losing battle.
Unconcerned by the sponsors' tang-
led dealings, the residents of North
Shore Towers want to move ahead
with the business at hand - the pur-
chase of valuable apartments. One
thousand tenants have already
bought their apartments and many
others plan to follow suit.D
Kathy Silberger is a freelance writ-
er.D
LETTERS
Peloratlve T.rm
To the editor:
I was disappointed by your
advised use of language in your April
1987 Short Term Notes. I would think
that an excellent, progressive
magazine such as City Limits would
have the judgment not to use a
pejorative term such as "crippled" to
describe a handicapped person.
The word "crippled" is one which
evokes feelings of pity and charity
among the able-bodied population.
The handicapped community has
struggled for years to encourage the
image of an independent
handicapped person who with some
assistance can lead a productive life.
A "cripple" on the other hand is seen
as forever dependent upon the
assistance and good will of others.
The unfortunate comparison of this
eviction to the Eleanor Bumpurs case
encourages the view that the disabled
are psychologically as well as
physically impaired.
I am hopeful that this constructive
criticism will sensitize you and your
staff to the more positive images for
the disabled. This would make your
exemplary publication even stronger.
Mel R. Thnzman, MSW
Eastern Paralyzed Veterans
Association
Manhattan
The editor replies: We apologize for
the unfortunate use of the term
"crippled" and assure our readers
that we did not mean any offense.

SInc:e 1980, the HousIng Energy Alliance for lenIInta CoopenItIve Corp. (H.E.A.T. COOP) has provided low
cost home heating 011 end energy UN reduction MrYIc:es.
The H.E.A.T. Coop has targeted for services the largely minority low and middle income neighborhoods of the
Bronx. Brooklyn. Manhattan and Queens. H.E.A. T:s purpose is to provide assistance and services that lead
to neighbort1ood stability.
As a proponent of economic empowerment for revitalization of the City's communities. H.E.A. T. remains committed
to assisting newly emerging managers and owners of buildings with the reduction of energy costs (long as
the single most expensive area of building management). H.E.A. T. has presented tangible opportunities for tenant
associations. housing COOPS. churches. community organizations, homeowners and small businesses to gamer
substantial savings and lower the costs of building operation. .
Through the primary ..vice of providing low cost home MetIng 011, various heating plant services and
energy management ..vices, H.E.A. T. members have collectively saved over 1.5 million doIla ....
'AbfIIing coItaboratively with other community service organizations with similar goals. and Working to establish its
viability as a business entity, H.E.A.T. has committed its revenue generating capacity and potential to providing
I services that work for lind lead to stable. productive communities.
If you are interested in leaming more about H.E.A.T. or if you are interested in becoming a H.E.A.T. member. call
or write the H.E.A. T. office.
Housing El)ergy Alliance for Tenants Coop Corp.
853 Broadway. Suite 414. New York, N:-f. 10003, [212] 505-0286
WORKSHOP
HOUSING COORDINATOR. Established neigh. pres. org. seeks
full or pit indiv. to carry out variety of hsing programs. Respon-
sibilities: tenantlblock org., landlord/homeowner counseling, par-
ticipate in hsing. legislation formation. Qualifications: Volunteer
or paid org. expo pref; knowledge of tenant rights, creativity,
perSistence and initiative essential. Salary nego. Resume: Cen-
tral Astoria LDC, 28-27 Steinway St., Astoria, N.Y. 11103
HOUSING SPECIALIST/PARALEGAL. Community Law office
needs paralegel for hsing unit. Unit represents tenants assoc.
in Harlem, E. Harlem & Wash. Hgts. Responsibilities: assistance
to tenant managed bldgs, accting. assisttenant assoc. & litigation
prep. Night mtgs. required. Spanish lang. important. Salary:
18,408 + overtime.
HOMELESS HOUSING COORDINATOR. Coordinator for rehab
of vacant apts. & placement of homeless fam. Responsibilities:
Working w/contractors, social service & city agencies & tenant
assocs. Night mtgs req. Spanish helpful. Job avail. now. Salary
18,408 plus overtime. Resume & letter for both positions im-
mediately: Douglas Simmons, Community Law Offices, 230 E.
106, N.Y. 10029.
FIELD COORDINATOR. 3 yrs. expo in comm. org. to provide
admin & training ass it. to established and evolving grassroot
organizations in Bed-Stuy. Focus of the group is to provide ser-
vices & support to low income children, teens & parents. Resume
& cover letter including salary history: SCF, 625 Broadway, 2nd
Fir., N.Y., N.Y. 10012.
HOUSING LAWYERS. Bklyn Legal Servs. Corp. A is seeking
hsing l!nit director for E. Bklyn office & hsing attorney for E.
Brklyn. & Williamsburg offices. Part of pilot anti-homeless project.
Director pays mid 40's, at least 5 yrs. expo Attny paid according
to union contract, admitted to NY Bar & should have some hsing.
law expo Resumes: Martin Needleman, Brooklyn Legal Services
Corp .. A, 260 Bway, Bklyn, N.Y. 11211.
RESEARCHER/INVESTIGATOR. Office of State Sen. Franz
Leichter (Man). $25,000 + depending upon expo All state em-
ployee benefits. Lower Man location. Conduct research & invest.,
write reports & press releases, wide range of city & state is-
sues - hsing/tenant concerns, govtlpolitical reform, mass
transit, consumer banking etc. Monitor performance of city &
state agencies. Work w/hsing orgs & activists. Assist legislative
counsel. Prefer indiv. w/knowledge of NYC govt. & politics &
some or.g. expo Good research & writing skills. Resume & cover
letter: Glenn von Nostitz, Leg Counsel, Office of State Sen.
Leichter, Rm. 517, LOB, Albany, N.Y. 11247.
DIRECTOR FOR TENANT RESOURCE CENTER. Respon-
sibilities: Organizing skills, individual tenant counseling, co-op
and condo. knowledge, housing court procedures, geriatric hous-
ing needs, writing and public speaking background, supervise
staff. Requirements: Funding exp., flexibility, good analytical
skills, relevant experience, and creative thinker. Salary commen-
surate with expo + benefits. Send resume to: B.T.C:, 82 Quentin
Rd., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11223.
Junel July 1987 CITY LIMITS 23
COMMUNITY HOUSING INFORMATION SPECIALIST. Non-
profit org. seeks urban planner; computer skills essen.; to man-
age & operate an innov. low income hsing info service in Clinton,
Manhattan. Exp. in comm. work preferred. Salary to 18K. Re-
sumes: CHIp, 7n 10th Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10019, EOE.
FREELANCE REPORTERS. For special reporting project on
low income communities, with focus on Bed-Stuyand E. Harlem.
Resume & clips: City Limits, 40 Prince St., N.Y., N.Y. 10012.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. Kingsbridge Heights NIA seeks ex.
dir. KHNIA is a comm. group focusing on empowering neigh.
residents to org. on issues inc;luding neigh. reinvest., educ. &
child care. Affiliate of NWBCCC. Salary negot. depending upon
expo Good fringe benefits. Resumes: Fran Sugarman. Dir.
KHNIA, 2805 University Ave., Brnx., N.Y. 10468.
DIRECTOR OF HOUSING. Dynamic not-for-profit corporation
seeks experienced professional to oversee development, prop-
erty management and organizing activities. Salary mid $ 30's.
Resume: Gary Hattem, St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation
Corp., 11-29 Catherine St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11211.
HOUSING COORDINATOR. Part time. Harlem Heights Comm.
Hsing & Development Corp. renovating in rem bldgs for the
homeless. Salary negotiable. Call 927-6155. Office open Mon-Fri
.
CHANGE
JOBS
Every year Comnamity Jobs lists
over 2,(XX) job in com-
munity work nationwide. If you
are a coUege student looking for
_ an internship, a disgruntled
Change
worker looking for meaningful
work, or an activist wanting to
the
keep informed about what's hap-
pening at the you'U

No Risk Guarantee! If Jobs doesn't meet your
needs, just write and we" prompdy send you a fuU refund on all
unmailed copies.
A one Year subscription to Coml'l'lUniL) join (12 issues) costs only
$12.00-50% off the cover price!
o $12 for Iyear subscription (J 2
o $9 for 6month subscription (6
o I've also an extra $10 per for first class
NAME
ADDRESS
cm STATE ZIP
__ COMMUNlTI JOBS_-
1319 18th St., NW, Suite CI.. Wuhington, DC 20036
Can Neighborhood Reinvestment
Be Controlled and Responsible?
A FORUM
For Organizers
and Community Leaders
Eradicating the red line and getting banks to reinvest in neigh-
borhoods is a tough task. Community groups must make bank
reinvestment accountable to the needs of the people. Reinvestment
strategies that lead to gentrification and displacement are as bad
as no reinvestment at all!
Speakers will discuss the current state of the banking industry
and set a framework for collective strategizing on responsible
reinvestment.
THURSDAY JUNE 11th, 1987
9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Community Service Society
105 East 22nd Street
Conference Room A 4th Floor
For more information call...
Liz Rodriguez 614-5356 Community Service Society
Polly Smith 566-0769 Commission on Human Rights
This conference isjointly sponsored by: Community Service Society - Housing/Program Development Unit
City Commission on Human Rights Reinvestment Unit