Is DHCR Waging War Against Roosevelt Island's Rivercross Tenants? Tenants Will Fight Back With Lawsuit!
Image of Rivercross Complex Cowl Vents from Brian Patrick
This earlier post described DHCR's plan to increase the surcharge on Mitchell-Lama Rivercross Co-op residents whose income exceeds the maximum allowed for the building. The DHCR is attempting to impose this increase despite opposition by the Rivercross Board of Directors and knowledge by Commissioner Van Amerongen's that any rent surcharge increase will result in a lawsuit. That lawsuit by the Rivercross Tenants Corp. will now be filed according to the memorandum below.
A reader sends the following memo announcing that the Rivercross Tenants Corp. will bring a lawsuit against DHCR alleging an illegal order by DHCR increasing the surcharge and abuse of governmental power.
Read this document on Scribd: rivercrosssurchargememo
It will be interesting to see how the DHCR seeks to justify overruling the business judgement of the Rivercross Board. After all, as the Main Street WIRE reported in a prior 2001 case involving a Rivercross rent surcharge increase agreed to by both DHCR and the Board, the Appellate Division of the NY State Supreme Court ruled:
DHCR rationally construes the PHFL [Public Housing Finance Law] to allow Mitchell-Lama cooperatives to be responsible for creating their own individual surcharge schedules, in recognition of the business and practical factors unique to each..."Now, on this issue of a rent increase surcharge the DHCR and Rivercross Board disagree and DHCR is seeking to overturn the business judgement of the Rivercross Board. A reader comments:
Seems like DHCR might be in an interesting position, having at one time argued that it could leave decisions to the cooperative board(and won!) and now ordering that same cooperative board to impose a higher surcharge?Another reader comments:
DHCR is waging war against Rivercross. I didn't see any righteous indignation when they let Eastwood (with deep subsidies and truly poor people) out of the Mitchell Lama program. Now DHCR is "saving" Rivercross for who? The vast majority of the building has voted to explore leaving the program 3 or 4 times now. Apparently DHCR knows better...I don't know if the rent surcharge increase is justified or not but the issue is who decides? Is it the buildings shareholders and Board of Directors or is it Commissioner Van Amerongen , DHCR and the State of New York?
Here is January 2008 interview with DHCR Commissioner Van Amerongen conducted by the Main Street WIRE and January 2008 statement by Assemblymember Micah Kellner on Tax Equivalency bill for WIRE buildings including Rivercross.