Statement Released by Knickerbocker Village

Tonight Knickerbocker Village, Inc. has emailed the following statement:

The management of Knickerbocker Village has been working around the clock to care for our residents and restore building services in the wake of this unprecedented storm. We have overcome enormous challenges, only to face multiple setbacks due to the configuration and age of Knickerbocker Village and its infrastructure, as well as limited supply of resources in the New York area. Regardless of obstacles, we have not, and will not, spare any expense or resource to get the buildings and their systems back to normal, and our residents safe and comfortable in their homes.

  • All building systems controlling utility and heating services are located below ground and were overcome by the surge of seawater from the East River. Pumping was commenced as quickly as possible after the storm, and by last Saturday November 3rd, electricity was restored to approximately 80% of Knickerbocker Village, only to lose power again as a result of an unfortunate electrical fire that was beyond our control. Resulting from the fire, Con Edison imposed new power restoration procedures that govern our process and progress.
  • All over the New York area, the supply of manpower, materials and replacement equipment is extremely limited. Literally hundreds of buildings in New York, including both private and City- owned properties, remain without utility service and are looking for exactly the same professionals and equipment that we need at Knickerbocker Village. Among our complications, our boilers are of a rare vintage, so only 10% of the universe of temporary/replacement equipment could work. In this difficult environment we are searching far and wide to get these resources, but it is a challenging process. We are optimistic that temporary generators will be delivered soon, which should add some electricity supply, and with it the potential for supplemental heating sources.

Given the number of issues currently beyond our control, in addition to working our hardest to repair the Knickerbocker Village physical plant we have taken the following actions:

  • Supplying residents with food, water, blankets, flashlights and other necessities.
  • Assisting residents, especially the elderly, in moving to temporary emergency housing ortransferring to vacant apartments within the portions of Knickerbocker Village that have electric power.
  • Making multiple daily rounds to check on residents.
  • Coordinating with FEMA, the NYC Office of Emergency Management, the Red Cross and other non-profit organizations, and elected officials regarding further humanitarian assistance.
  • Holding daily briefings in the available community room to provide tenants with updates on ourprogress and more regular briefings of the Knickerbocker Village Tenants Association.

We currently expect electricity to be restored in advance of other services and will make every effort to supply heat from electrical sources until we have boiler service up and running.  Regarding rent issues, Knickerbocker Village, Inc. is working with New York State Homes and Community Renewal (NYSHCR) to address potential abatements as Knickerbocker Village is subject to rent regulation and therefore only NYSHCR can make the final determinations regarding rents.

 

  • KV resident

    “Making multiple daily rounds to check on residents.” — LIE. The first and only people who went door to door was the Red Cross, on Day #5 or 6
    “Assisting residents, especially the elderly” — LIE. There has been no assistance for the elderly, or anyone, whatsoever by KV
    “Holding daily briefings in the available community room.” — this happened ONCE, yesterday, Day #10 without power.

  • Vericurious

    My husband and I have walked up and down the dark staircases about 6 times at various times since Tuesday after the storm and has not seen anyone from KV near the building, not even once.

  • Vericurious

    My logic regarding rent was, if their basements were flooded and that’s where their offices are, they wouldn’t be able to process rent, right? It’s clear they’re unable to any administrative work since they couldnt even type up any memos to update tenants about the situation until now!

  • emzeee

    I did not receive any of the flashlight, blankets, or food. No one has ever knocked on my door during all of last week or this week to see if the people were okay. This management needs to be ashamed for the negligence towards the residents over the past two weeks and how they took care of the situation. The standard of living over the past weeks is not acceptable.

  • JoeH

    Googled NYS HCR: For renters of NYS HFA financed apartments:

    Q: Whom do I, as a resident of an HFA financed apartment, contact regarding questions or complaints about my building?
    A:

    Owners are responsible for the management and operation of buildings financed by HFA. This responsibility is shared with the management company selected by the owner. Any questions or complaints that a resident may have regarding any aspect of a building’s management or operation should be directed to the management company.

    Thus this implies, Knickerbocker Village as well as the owners.

  • Cindy

    Why did it take all this attention for a statement? It’s been 2 weeks! NOW you say something?! And as far I can tell I’ve never seen any knickerbocker personell anywhere! All I’ve seen is tenants wandering around with no answers and having to figure things out on their own, or harass the security team.

  • JoeH

    To contact the DHCR regarding Rent administration regarding questions of paying rent while repairs are being done, and the apartment is hazardous or violates the NYS Landlord – Tenant law of Warranty of Habitability. here is the contact email address: RentInfo@nyshcr.org

  • Sity

    They should show their commitment to getting this resolved by telling us they are not collecting rent for the days we did not have power. Other established renters like Stuytown gave some reprieve on days without power and Knickerbocker village should do the same! Otherwise if not already, impatient and angry residents would really be causing an uprising. They need to do some damage control now since we’ve been left in the dark for too long until this statement. No pun intended!

  • just another kv resident

    if you actually read the memo that’s being passed out by the security guards or read them by your building door, it does tell you when and where they will distribute food, blankets and flashlight.

  • emzeee

    I read every single memo and flyer and to be handed a memo by a clueless guard 10 days after the storm is pitiful . I have no problem getting my own food and supplies since LES recovered last saturday but please go tell the elderly residents on the 12th floor to go down and read flyers and pick up their own food and supplies. It’s not about given directions , but to be under so much scrutiny by the public officials, press and residents THEN taking some action is NOT acceptable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TVersella Thomas Versella

    Negligent. Sheer mismanagement and indifference. While the President of the Owners, Board of Directors, James Simmons Vice President of Ownership, and Vincent Callagy talk about “we are all in this together”, it is becoming clear that they had no plan, made incompetent errors, and are trying to camouflage their negligence. We should ask our elected officials to look into the business practices of these “mysterious” owners and investors. RENT STRIKE!

  • http://twitter.com/twobridgesandy twobridgesandy

    Only under the pressure of the media the management finally “lowers” itself to release a statement full of false comments and lies. The reality was witnessed by hundreds of tenants:
    a) No or insufficient resources for recovery
    b) No information no tenants about progress
    c) Nobody cared for the elderly in the first couple days
    Now, with us informing the Major, Governor and the Borough President —and those people contacting the management- they finally respond. And still lie about their efforts. This is a crying shame. But wait. We are not done. This will have consequences and I will not rest until justice is done.

  • JoeH

    Please take as many pictures as you can depicting the deplorable conditions in which the residents of KV had to endure. This will provide proof of the inadequate and possible criminal negligence of the property owners and management. If we stand united, we can win this in court, but we need to be organized and smart about it. Someone please create a timeline of the recovery effort post Sandy, and every keep a journal of who you spoke to from Management or any employees or staff of KV. We can win this!

  • emzeee

    I saw with my own eyes Vincent Callagy walking by a group of FEMA workers and NOT saying one word to them or even acknowledging their tireless effort on helping the KV residents. what a shame…