What’s moving into the Alexander?

Dear Neighbors,

The sight of “hotel” furniture being delivered to the lobby of The Alexander—instead shelter furnishings—is a positive sign for our neighborhood.
The building’s tenants, aided by SRO Law Project stuck to their guns. They held out against terrible pressure.
Your calls and emails were heard, and you should be satisfied that your efforts struck a blow for neighborhood stability.
Mayor Hosni Mubloomberg learned that many of his senior administration officials live in the neighb and are just as concerned as we are about public safety for themselves and their families.
I’d like to now tell you the fight is over.  It’s not.
This is merely a lull. As Churchill once wrote, “It is the end of the beginning.”
We must now use our resolve as a neighborhood to end the building-by-building, whack-a-mole approach and finally ensure a safe and stable community.
The state law that created this crisis has not even taken effect yet.  May 1st is D-Day.  Our housing stock is such that dozens of buildings in the area, some of which you or your loved ones pass every day could become a problem property.  Even The Alexander remains vulnerable.  Two properties on the 300 block of West 95th Street serve as both homeless shelters and rooms of tourists.  Others may follow, if not as shelters, then subsidized facilities for very similar populations—like the proposed St. Louis, which we are fighting in court (since 2006!!).
Our best weapon is the community consensus that has been forged and articulated during this fight.
Until Assembly Member Rosenthal introduces or supports legislation that delays the implementation of the anti-hotel law, we will not have earned that peaceful night’s sleep.  Rosenthal co-sponsored and championed a law that required that short-stay hotels install an extra staircase.  After 100 years, the buildings are now unsafe if they are non-union hotels.  But the union hotels with the same issue, like the Sherry-Netherland and the Hudson Hotel are safe.  The building is safe if it’s used by permanent SRO tenants and homeless shelters.  Backpacking Belgians do require that extra measure of protection. Not!
The Rosenthal law does not protect the neighborhood against the City using hotels for shelters–it created the current situation.  It does not provide in any way for the affordable housing that she promised.
Her latest gambit is a bill that would prevent the City from using hotels as shelters.  It is well-intended, but will the Mayor allow it to pass?
Linda Rosenthal must be called and told that an extension on implementing the hotel law is needed.  The neighborhood needs a comprehensive plan for “affordable housing” forworking taxpayersnot more special needs populations.  The hotels, which are comprised of tiny rooms with one bathroom down the hall for every six rooms must be part of the solution, and their economics should be considered. A stop-gap measure that does not say what can be done with the buildings, and that may take years to pass is useless!
So let’s earn that quiet night’s sleep, neighbors.
Let’s staff the phones. Call often.  Send emails.  Nothing changes until we change the law!!
Keep up the pressure!  
Let’s take back our neighborhood from the current ruling class of politicians. Thank them for the efforts, but remind them that they represent us, and we have a lot of work ahead.
–Aaron Biller
Tell Linda and her staff you want her to introduce a measure delaying implementation of the new state law closing neighborhood budget hotels.  We need a plan for these buildings.  Ask for a “time-out” for a year or two to allow the owners, neighborhood leaders and elected officials to plan a safe future.
Tell Scott you want him to put his weight behind delaying implementation of the new state budget hotel law.  Our community has way more than its fair share of facilities, and the only guard against the inappropriate use of buildings for shelters and the only hope for affordable housing is to create a plan for the buildings, a plan for our neighborhood,then implement the law.  Not the other way around!!
Tell Gale you oppose the Alexander shelter.  You want affordable housing, but make it very clear that you mean housing for the WORKING poor and moderate income taxpayers, not the special needs populations she aggressively foists on the neighborhood in exchange for political favors from Mayor Bloomberg et al.
The Claremont Stables have closed, now it’s time to stop horse-trading away our quality of life and street safety for special interest goodies.  (We have a list, BTW).
And don’t forget to support us in the legal fight against the St. Louis, 319 West 94thStreet. Send checks to N90s (new address):
Mary Jemail
Neighborhood In The Nineties Legal Fund
250 West 94th Street
New York, NY 10025
About Neighborhood In The Nineties, Inc: Founded by a group of neighbors in 1971, N90s and its predecessor organizations—the West Nineties Neighborhood Coalition and the West 94th Street Broadway-Riverside Association—has worked closely with SRO tenants, co-op and condo owners, retail merchants and property owners to promote a safe and beautiful West Side neighborhood.  For example, during the 1990s, our group sponsored a professional neighborhood patrol to greatly reduce drug dealing and street crime and restore public safety. We have also been an effective advocate for promoting Fair Share.  Our 2007 survey of supportive housing sites has been quoted in The New York Times and other media.

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