Thursday, February 5, 2009

Eastwood/Roosevelt Landings Residents Seek RIRA Support In Action Against Outrageous Submetered Electricity Charge Increases By Urban America

Image of 2/4 Standing Room only RIRA Meeting

I was shocked when I walked into the Good Shepherd Community Center lower level room last night for the monthly Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council meeting to discover it was packed with people, standing room only.

I soon learned the reason for the large attendance was that many residents of Eastwood (renamed Roosevelt Landings by it's new owners Urban America) were there seeking support from RIRA to protest the incredibly huge sample electricity bills they just received under the new submetering plan for the building. According to some of the Eastwood residents, monthly electricity bills are as high as $1, 000 (that is not a typo) for a 3 bedroom apartment and $500-600 for a two bedroom apartment.

Eastwood/Roosevelt Landings residents were urged to attend this meeting.



General Membership

Good Shepherd Church

Saturday, 2/7/09 at 2 PM

Please bring the following:

A copy of your sample electric bill. Please write on it

  • the number of bedrooms in your apartment
  • whether you face North, South, etc,
  • whether you are located Mid Hallway, Elevator Vestibule or Far End of Hallway
A note to RLRA concerning any complaints you have about your heaters. Identify the dates of your complaints to management and 311
A donation so that RLRA can shoulder the costs to fight this fight!

A representative of Assembly Member Kellner's office was in attendance and urged all residents to stick together, collect information about their electricity bills and make sure that Mr. Kellner receives the collected information.

Following the meeting a reader and Eastwood/Roosevelt Landings resident forwarded the following letter sent to building management:
I am deeply disturbed by the sample utility bill that I received recently for the month of December 2008 in the amount of $476. The amount in particular has shocked me, and I feel that I have to address certain concerns I have with my apartment.

My concerns are so numerous I have numbered them for you. They are as follows:

  1. My first concern is the efficiency of the insulation of the new windows installed last fall.
  2. Although I submitted the form for winterization, as requested, the maintenance staff never performed that task.
  3. The baseboard electric heaters, installed some thirty years ago, are not energy-efficient and need to be replaced.
  4. In addition, the heaters do not have any sensors, are running all day, and overheat.
  5. My refrigerator, which has been in place for at least the ten years of my tenancy, is not energy-efficient and likewise needs to be replaced. The milk freezes and the ice cream melts.
  6. While I am writing this letter, let me also mention my concerns with the continuously dripping bathtub, which Maintenance has yet to repair.
  7. Grout is heavily missing in the shower, something Maintenance has yet to repair.
  8. Newly installed kitchen cabinets have gaps at the floor, leading to unsanitary condition, an issue maintenance has yet to address.
  9. In addition, one of the kitchen cabinets cannot open due to wrong measurement.
  10. Furthermore, I wish to bring to your attention the cockroach situation in the bathroom, which Maintenance has yet to address.
  11. There continues to be a pigeon infestation in the air conditioning unit. This has been going on for two years now, and although Maintenance has addressed this, the pigeons are still there.
  12. The electrical outlets in two bedrooms are loose and serious safety hazards
  13. The doorbell is not working.
  14. Finally, I wish to complain that when I tipped the maintenance staff to carefully remove a heavy file cabinet so as to not scratch the floor, they simply dragged it while I was gone, thus scratching my floor.

I would like to know what Housing Management can do to resolve these issues.


An Eastwood Resident


Anonymous said...

Give me a break! Finally Eastwood tenants notice how much electricity they have been using in the past when it was free. And as we can see they have been wasting an enormous amount. It's a wake-up call for them. The waste has to change! Same for the buildings across the street.

Btw, in Manhattan Park I just paid almost $300 in a 2BR apartment and we are very careful with the usage. So $500-$600 sounds about right for folks who keep blasting the heat 24/7 in all rooms.

Unknown said...

Hi Anonymous,

Your electric bill here at Manhattan Park sounds to much for me. Let me tell you that we are getting organized in making sure our electric bills at MP are correct. Please get in touch with me if you want to be sure that you are paying the correct amount. We are going to take action in the next few weeks.

Isabel Perez
Manhattan Park Common Council Representative

Anonymous said...

Isabel, I don't think it's too much. Considering the really inefficient heating units we have in our apartments this is something we just have to deal with. Short of putting pressure on management to replace them with something better or using space heaters instead I don't know what you guys are trying to do.