On April 27th at 1:30p, the NYC Council held a hearing in response to complaints filed against HPD in regards to the TIL Program and the poor living conditions that these NYC building residents currently reside in. HPD and NYC had agreed to allow tenants to purchase their apartments for $250 originally. Through the years and many broken promises of repair, renovations and more, HPD came back to these tenant associations offering them the rights to their apartments for the inflated rate of $2,500.
During the hearing, 100 tenants showed up in full force on multiple buses to support, stand up and give their testimony on the matter at hand. The public hearing room was not able to handle the incredible influx of tenants there to testify, it was only able to accommodate 60 people at a time, so 40 additional testifiers waited down in the lobby until they were able to be called in. Members of PA’LANTE Harlem were both the hearing room and down in the lobby with the remaining tenants in order to keep everyone updated on the progress of the testimonials.
Complete Hearing testimonies can be viewed by clicking this link:
Here are the highlights of the success we were able to achieve during the hearing.
1. HPD announced that they will now pay fuel costs for all 148 TIL buildings. This will allow tenant associations to have additional funds in their operating accounts to pay for apartment and building repairs. This will also allow repairs and improvements to be made faster, as Tas contract and utilize their own contractors. With HPD paying for the fuel costs, they project that each TA will now have an average of approximately $24,000 per year to devote to improvements like painting, common areas, plumbing work, floor repairs and improving lighting in public areas to improve the safety for the building residents. HPD will continue to assist the TA with paying for major systems replacements and repairs, if the TA has insufficient funds in their operating account until the gut renovations begin in ANCP or MPLP
2. New approach to improving the TIL buildings while also making adjustments to the ANCP program to address resident concerns. HPD is working on 3 parallel tracks to:
A. Implement a new tenant based collaborative planning process
B. Improve TIL Building conditions
C. Expedite and adjust the ANCP and MPLP programs
3. As part of the increased communication efforts, HPD will be sending a letter to every TIL tenant association stating their commitment that by the end of 2017, every TA will have:
A. “Roof to cellar” inspection done with a “snapshot” report provided after the inspection with a follow up
meeting with the TIL staff to review the report.
B. A workshop with the HPD staff to discuss repair status, ensure TAs understand ANCP and the ways of
HPD can assist TAs in meeting the pre-requisites for ANCP.
C. Collaborative plan, created jointly with the TAs and HPD, that outlines the TA’s preferred outcome.
4. Items in storage – a letter has been sent to every relocated resident who has stored items with HPD’s vendor reaffirming that tenants CAN access their property, and providing clear instructions on how tenants can do that.
5. Each testimony was given to the council for review whether present or not to testify. There were 25-30 people that provided their live testimony at the hearing!
6. HPD are currently reallocating Capital funds in order to repair roofs and boilers during the summer months.
7. Restructuring of the TIL operations: there will be an Assistant Commissioner that will focus on nothing but making TIL buildings coop-ready and repaired. Wanjiru Bila will be the new Assistant Commissioner.