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Friday, May 24, 2013

Roosevelt Island Power Outage This Morning For Manhattan Park, Octagonand Portions Of Westview - Con Ed Responding To Outage Reports OEM

Getting reports from residents of a power outage at the north end of Roosevelt Island including the Octagon, Manhattan Park and portions of Westview.

NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) tweets.
A reader reports:
My husband called Con Ed. Power issue affects 625, Octagon and Manhattan Park. There is a problem with the feeder that provides power to those buildings on the island. According to Con Edison, this issue should be resolved by 11 am.
From another resident:
Note buildings like 40 river are required to have back up lighting in stair wells in case electricity is lost. 40 river does not have such back up lights installed. Stairwells pitch black. They should bring the building up to fire code standards.
UPDATE 9:15 AM:
Resident Lynn Strong-Shinozaki reports:
There is some belief that the Blackout is related to the fire on the Koch bridge and/or related to flooding with the power station or both. Students are at ps/is 217 are being given the day off as well as some of the Childschool students are being sent home. We have asked that they consider using sports park as a place for people to go if the do not resolve this quickly. They are in the process of evaluating the 2/4 River Road for the needs of the seniors and disabled. Do we know who might need to be checked in the other buildings? We hope they can set up temp. charging places... the power is also out at the RIOC office.
Robert K adds:
The south tram is also out of service right now; the expected crowds are forming. (Unsure if this is separate from the power outage or in response to con Ed conservation request)
From Nikki Leopold of Island Kids:
TO ACCOMMODATE THOSE WHO ARE AFFECTED BY THE POWER OUTAGE

ISLAND KIDS WILL BE OPEN ALL DAY FOR OPEN PLAY STARTING AT 10:00.

THIS IS FREE OF CHARGE

PLEASE NOTE THAT SPACE IS LIMITED SO PLEASE ONLY COME IF YOU ARE IN A BUILDING WITHOUT POWER

WE WILL HAVE WATER AND SNACKS AVAILABLE
The address is 536 Main Street in the courtyard behind 510 and 540 Main Street under the ramp.
Update 10:10 - According to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp President Charlene Indelicato, four out of five Con Ed feeder cables serving Roosevelt Island are out. Ms Indelicato urges residents to limit non essential electricity uses so that the fifth feeder cable does not go out as well.

Update 11:35 AM - After briefing by OEM, Con Ed and other emergency personnel, Ms Indelicato reports no change in power outage status but urges residents Not To Flush Toilets until power restored. The next update from RIOC will be at 3 pm

UPDATE 12:50 PM - Press Release from Con Ed earlier this morning:
Con Edison is asking customers on Roosevelt Island to conserve electricity due to problems on electrical equipment serving this area.

The company implemented voltage reduction as a precaution to protect equipment and maintain service as company crews work to repair the problem.

Con Edison is asking customers on Roosevelt Island not to use appliances such as washers, dryers, and other energy-intensive equipment and to turn off lights and televisions when not needed until the equipment problems are resolved.

Customers can report outages and check service restoration status at www.coned.com/reportoutage or by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). When reporting an outage, customers should have their Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether their neighbors also have lost power. Customers who report outages will be called by Con Edison with their estimated restoration times as they become available.

The equipment problems on Roosevelt Island have no effect on the rest of the Con Edison system. Con Edison will provide updates to affected customers both directly and through the media as the situation warrants. The company is in constant communication with the New York City Office of Emergency Management.
Con Ed outage map states that there are 4 Roosevelt Island outages affecting 26 customers with an estimated resumption of service at 5 PM. No idea how they came up with only 26 customers affected when there is no power in the Octagon, Manhattan Park and Westview buildings with more than 2 thousand total apartments.

Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman reported:
There continues to be no power at school. This morning the students were relocated to Good Shepard Church. We plan to remain there for the day but will walk back to the school for dismissal. We will dismiss students from the school at 2:50pm unless parents decide to pick up their children earlier. All of our staff made it to work and the few students that remain are busy.
Rabbi Zalman Duchman adds:
Chabad Lubavitch of Roosevelt Island is going to host a special Shabbat dinner tonight for all those effected by the blackout.

Contact Rabbi Zalman and Nechama Duchman via email Nechama@RIJewish.org or call 212.652.5660 for info and RSVP

Tonight, 7:30 pm at 425 Main St.

Please visit elderly and homebound neighbors to make sure they are okay.
UPDATE 1:25 - Bright Horizons Pre-School at the Octagon sent out this message to parents:
Dear Families,
While Bright Horizons does have power the building does not. The center is connected to the water supply pumps which are not operational. As the day goes on the supply of water is being reduced to the classrooms. The estimated time for power to be returned to the building is late afternoon / early evening. As per licensing we can not operate the center without running water. We are asking families to pick up no later then 3:00pm. We do apologize for the inconvenience. For the health and safety of the children and faculty we can not remain open without water.

UPDATE 3:10 PM - Receiving reports from Octagon residents that power is back in their building. One resident adds that according to Octagon building management:
We were asked by Con Ed to try to use minimal power as only one "grid" is up at the moment. If it gets overloaded we might loose power again. We will try to minimize usage in other areas of the building.
UPDATE 9:20 PM - Power restored - more info here.

114 comments :

Mark Lyon said...

30 River is also without stairwell lights and water service.

DEP says water may be due to building pumps as they have no planned outage on island.

Mark Lyon said...

Alert issued 5/24/13 at 8:33 AM. Due to equipment issues at Roosevelt Island (MN), Con Edison is asking that customers reduce their use of electricity by turning off any items that are not in use, and minimizing the use of air conditioners. To report a loss of electric service, contact Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED(26633) or online at http://www.coned.com.

The sender provided the following contact information.
Sender's Name: Notify NYC
Sender's Email: notifynyc@oem.nyc.gov
Sender's Contact Phone: 212-639-9675

disqus_17bh176bG3 said...

The octagon sent a message to all residents noting that the outage is island-wide. Flat out unethical lie.

Frank Farance said...

Heard from RIOC staffer: accident/fire on 59st Bridge, Con Ed needed to shutdown power on one of the lines (affected parts of RI), will be back up by 11 AM. Motorgate / Gristede's have no power. Island House and Eastwood have power. No school today at PS/IS 217.

Anonymous said...

Was shocked that there were zero emergency lights in the stairwell at 30 River this morning. Seems incredibly unsafe.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Is this really something you get all riled up about? Half the island, all island... better than not giving you anything, no?

YetAnotherRIer said...

Luckily nobody in 10-40 RR is allowed to run the A/C units anyway.

YetAnotherRIer said...

I agree. There needs to be emergency lighting in the staircases at least every other floor and reflective stripes on the steps and/or going down along the stairways.

RIslander said...

Incorrect? Yes.
Flat our unethical lie? No.

We made it through a week without power after Sandy, a few hours now is no big deal.

Mark Lyon said...

Voicemail from: (800) 752-6633 at 11:32 AM

Irv it, you know. 214 si difficulties in our restoration efforts, we must adjust our initial estimate 5 P. M. If you need to hear this message again please hold and it will be repeated, hey this is calling to Addison's automated Emergency Response systems, previously, we advise you of an estimated restoration time for your electric service. Hello 214 si difficulties in our restoration efforts, we must adjust our initial estimate 5 PM. Thank you for bringing the problem to our attention. We are sorry for any inconvenience it may have cost Have a pleasant day goodbye.
Play message

Ratso123 said...

The Trams have their own generators which they were just using at the request of Con Edison. If one of the Trams wasn't running it was for another reason.

OldRossie said...

There is a large generator about 3 feet from the front door of building 30... right?

OldRossie said...

Just want to summarize: power is out, stairs are dark, don’t flush your
bowl, stay off your balcony, close your windows, no parking, disregard the jackhammer... Worth every penny.

Mark Lyon said...

It appears Con Ed brought in about a half dozen generators along Main Street but has not connected them. Manhattan Park set up small generators for the lobbies of the buildings.

Anonymous said...

Oy- sounds like they may be setting up for a possible long term problem? Hope not...

Robert said...

ConEd defines a "customer" as someone who contracts with them for power and pays a ConEd bill. So Manhattan Park is 1 customer, the Octagon is 1 customer, Westview is probably 1 customer -- the others are likely the commercial businesses in the affected area.

RooseveltIslander said...

thanks for clarification

rilander said...

They count meters as customers, so that if a building with 100 apartments is not sub metered, it will count as one customer, not 100.

Bill Blass said...

I do not understand.with all the money the people in octagon have
Why they don't buy a generator . They can very well afford to do so

Bill Blass said...

It is a good time for this to happend as the people in octagon will be going to the hamptons to their summer homes .as the summer season begins

Mark Lyon said...

Bill, I think you severely overestimate the resources of those who live in other buildings.


I know getting caught up in the mindset of class warfare is popular these days, but it serves only to benefit the people who want to use your anger at others for their own selfish goals (and distract you from their own failings). Don't give in to such deplorable tactics. You're better than that.

RooseveltIslander said...

getting reports that power is back at the Octagon

pu239 said...

What the hell is wrong with you?

CheshireKitty said...

And the goals of the rich aren't equally "selfish" Mark?

You pick your side in this world, Mark, and the side of the rich is the wrong side - since it's the unethical side.

Must we all worship at the altar of Mammon? Look around you - most people aren't rich. Unlike the rich, they share the little they have and help one another, instead of worshiping money.


Just as a great man once said: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." That is how attached the rich are to their money - unwilling to give up a dime in profits - and just as unlikely they will give up their luxurious life-styles today as they were 2,000 years ago. Of course, for his efforts in pointing out this fact and many others, the great man was nailed to the cross.

Bill's comment was an example of dry humor at the expense of the rich - not a bad tactic. However, Bill, I would point out that most Octagon residents can't possibly be rich enough to own Hamptons pads or maybe even shares in Hamptons pads; otherwise, they wouldn't be at Octagon - they'd be in the City!

RooseveltIslander said...

Power back at Motorgate garage

CheshireKitty said...

It isn't nice to gloat over the suffering of neighbors, Bill. But, actually, that's not a bad idea. Why doesn't the Octagon landlord buy one?

YetAnotherRIer said...

I think you and I have entirely different definitions of the word "rich".

Anonymous said...

I think any automatic judgment of someone because of money they may or may not have is short minded and mean.

Mark Lyon said...

Notify NYC May have outdated info. They just reported:

Alert issued 5/24/13 at 4:00 PM. Please be advised that Con Edison is responding to a power outage that has affected Westview, and every building north of this location. Only use necessary electricity to avoid overloading the system and to prevent additional power loss to the island. Please also keep flushing toilets to a minimum. Supplemental power will be provided until normal service is restored. There are NO disruptions to Tram or Red Bus service.

Sender's Name: Notify NYC
Sender's Email: notifynyc@oem.nyc.gov
Sender's Contact Phone: 212-639-9675

CheshireKitty said...

Look at Mark's comment, Anonymous. It's indefensible. And as far as your thoughts are concerned, you are entitled to them, of course. We're all conditioned to aspire to having money, and glory. Isn't that what the system is based on? How can I blame you for buying into the myth that has always been retailed to all of us and of course bought by most of us, hook, line and sinker.

RooseveltIslander said...

Power back at Westview still out at Manhattan Park

YetAnotherRIer said...

As I said before, most of your postings are very entertaining. I wonder how you can write so many words but fail to comprehend most of other people's comments?

Mark Lyon said...

Just got a call from MP's BuildingLink - they report 2, 4, and 10 back on. 20, 30 and 40 to come soon.

CheshireKitty said...

Yeah, well - Mark specializes in belittling the critics, few as they are on this blog, of the "upper" class. Mark specializes in the polite snide comments at those who are merely throwing figurative spitballs at even the notion of a class that is in a position to rent market-rate apts. He always rushes to their defense - sometimes sickeningly.

I'm not inimical to my neighbors at Octagon - they are largely getting shafted by the landlord like most other tenants in the city. They aren't ridiculously rich - if they were, they wouldn't be living at the Octagon.


The folks that really should be ridiculed are the buyers, often from overseas, of the ultra high-end condos - multi-million dollar "palaces" in the sky, such as those along the High Line. Remember, the Highline started as a peoples park project, now
it's a developers wet dream-more shitty rich elite assholes turning the area
into another trendy wasteland, stripping the city's character out of every area
they invade.

CheshireKitty said...

I thought I comprehended Bill's comments very well! Someone has to stick it to the rich...!

Ratso123 said...

For those who are complaining about the rich on Roosevelt Island. No one here is rich, if they were they wouldn't be here. Take a walk on 5th Ave.,or Park Ave. That is where the wealthy are. You have created your own pecking order with a small sample of society. If you perceive someone may have more than you than they are rich. Paying market rent does not make you rich.

rilander said...

The whole idea of this planned community was to have a completely diverse and integrated population, economically, societal, racial, etc., not to have a society of "haves" and "have nots". Unfortunately there will always be people who are envious (I guess Sunday School didn't teach them anything).

Westviewer said...

Westview has some, but not all power back. All my lights are operational, as is cable, but the kitchen appliances don't.

Anonymous said...

Just got an automated message from Con Ed saying 9pm as an estimated time for power to be restored at 30 River Road.

Mark Lyon said...

My neighbor reports that the lights are on at 30.

Bill Blass said...

This island is becoming less and less diverse i am sure you can see that for your self. And i am sure you are happy in the direction it is going in

Bill Blass said...

I was hoping that power in southtown was out also.so they can seE what a poor person goes thur when they can not pay the electic Bill

Bill Blass said...

I did not see one person from the useless rira on main st today
Why

RIslander said...

Actually, we do have a generator. It's solar powered, and runs critical building systems when the power is out (common area lights, elevators, etc). It does not supply power to individual units.

rilander said...

Your comment is not logical and makes no sense!

CheshireKitty said...

They must have all been cowering in their apartments, hoping the lights wouldn't go out.


Seriously though, many in rira work, but those that don't may not ordinarily disport in the rain. Plus, some may not care to walk around on Main St in the rain with Con Ed cables all over the sidewalk. Doesn't Con Ed occasionally fry pedestrians with stray voltage? And water and electricity doesn't mix to begin with. But - you have a point Bill: RIRA CC members could have helped residents in the buildings without electricity. Maybe some did - probably we'll hear about it later.

CheshireKitty said...

It's not illogical. Even the most recent (and for RI controversial) census showed that. There are no more affordable rentals - unless someone has a Sec 8 voucher and can find an apt at 2-4, or lucks into one of the "lotto" so-called affordable units in ST. He says you must be happy with the ongoing gentrification of RI; well, aren't you?

CheshireKitty said...

At least people can use the elevators and hang out in the hallways in case of a power outage.

Bill Blass said...

Really how many Black people do you see coming onto main st from the subway next time you are on the tram look around and look at the people and see how diverse this island isisland is

Bill Blass said...

It is time to get rid of the main street wire.its a rag. They are in bed with rioc they never print the truth

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Frank Farance said...

Mr. Blass, the Roosevelt Island "experiment" is a planned community of (primarily) economic diversity, an experiment that was different than some of the ideas of the 1960's on racial diversity. So instead of (in the language of the 1960's) having blacks and whites live next to each other (or go to the same school), it's about economic diversity, which means rich and poor live next to each other.

Having grown up in a town (Freeport, LI; an incorporated village) where they started forced busing when I was in second grade, and had racial strife/riots (for those a half generation older), my cohort was in the opposite direction (harmony/peace), but I recognize the limitations: it's really the economic diversity that has made Roosevelt Island a great community, and the ethnic diversity (greatly helped by UN families) is a blessing ... ditto for the mainstream support for seniors and disabled.

Unlike a factory town where everyone is working class, the economic diversity has always been a characteristic of the Island. Even three decades ago when there were just the WIRE buildings, you knew someone who was "poorer" than you, and you knew someone who was "richer" than you.

In my opinion, the economic diversity has been an important eye-opener (in a good way): so unlike the caricatures of the poor that we hear about in Congress or the political campaigns (when, in fact, those politicians don't actually know or socialize with poor people), we actually know people who are richer and poorer than each of us, and can have more informed opinions. And same for the rich, too. (Note: Rich and Poor are not absolutes, but relative terms.)

For us, the way this plays out is mostly in housing (we need to preserve affordable housing, we also need to maintain the Island's finances), and retail: we need (say) a high-end restaurant (for those who want that kind of dining experience), and a low-end restaurant (for those who can't afford much more); and similarly for a diversity of support for nail salons, grocery stores, and so on ... we shouldn't shift the services to just one end of the spectrum (higher or lower).

Lastly, saying "the Rich people in building X" or the "the Poor people in building Y" isn't helpful, I've heard both on this blog. As an economic mix, we have about one-half to two-thirds of the apartments in Section 8 and affordable housing, and the rest are market rate, some in "luxury" buildings ... certainly a diversity of income at many levels.

Frank Farance said...

Rick reports: "Con Ed outage map states
that ... Roosevelt Island outages affecting 26 customers ... No idea how they came up
with only 26 customers affected". Easy: 2-4 RR, 10RR, 20RR, 30RR, 40RR, Westview, Motorgate, Gristedes, Octagon, Post Office, Dayspring Church, China 1, Amalgamated, Child School, PS/IS 217, etc." ... sounds like about 26 customers, right? Many people don't get Con-Ed bills so we can get the bulk rate discount as large customers (the managing agents).

KTG said...

Your comment that wealth equates to lack of ethics is
ridiculous.

If in your life have or wish to opt out
or shun the free market system that’s your decision. And if you chose a lifestyle
or profession that make you happy and content over financial gain that is a
decision you should be happy about it.

But I make that decision so I don’t
have to live by nor does anyone else, so why do you keep judging people.

Bill Blass said...

The best is when someone is running for rioc or rira office. They say i will fright for affordable housing
Really. Now tell us how you are planning to get this done..Eastwood is gone. Island house and west view is Next Then its river cross. But the people in river cross want it to happen as they will be making lots of money with the owner ship of their apartments
The hell with the future of young couples starting out in life who would like the same chance for an affordable co op apartment
So now tell me what is being done to save affordable housing on this island

RIslander said...

Or go to work. It's Friday, after all!

CheshireKitty said...

Some avoid the tram for that very reason: The obnoxious yuppies. On the train, you get the opposite - a mostly working-class highly diverse Queens crowd, many different kinds of Latinos for example. Some go out of their way to take the train for this reason.

CheshireKitty said...

Here's the result of your wonderful "wealth-producing" system KTG - unprecedented numbers homeless in NYC & nationally. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324539404578340731809639210.html You like this system? You think it's ethical? Hah.

CheshireKitty said...

Yep - I'm sure they were all too happy to flee Octagon for work yesterday!!

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Blass, having been part of the Island House Tenants Association, and having been part of the negotiations, I have directly made an effort to preserve affordable housing on Roosevelt Island.

The Island House efforts will save affordable housing for about 1000 people (400 units) for at least two generations. It was an N-way negotiation with RIOC, DHCR, ESDC, the owner, and other parties. It isn't accomplished overnight (it took us about 8 years), there were many obstacles in the way, and (unlike Rivercross) we had no one on the RIOC Board ... in other words, we did it from a position of having the least power. Had we not done so, the owner would have taken the building out of M-L, the rents would have doubled or tripled, effectively a mass eviction of affordable housing tenants.

Furthermore, the Island House affordability plan is being heralded as a template for other M-L projects throughout the State because it addresses many of the thorny issues of building finances, while preserving affordability (similar to M-L levels), and it provides its fair share of income to RIOC (to support long-term finances for the Island). Most likely, the Island House affordability plan will be used for Westview and its M-L exit. In theory, a similar (but not the same) plan could be used for Rivercross.

And I've worked on other Island-wide aspects of preserving affordable housing.

But you're right, many people running for RIRA or RIOC Board nominee talk about it, but don't understand the details of the problems nor how to solve them.

Bill Blass said...

Where were you when Eastwood was being sold out by ron vass and rioc.

CheshireKitty said...

It preserves affordability for the present tenants, that is true. However, if at a future time a rental apartment becomes vacant, isn't it true that it will either be sold or rented at market rate? Effectively, except for the present tenants who continue to rent, or present tenants who buy, apts for others are no longer affordable. Thus, the building may be removed from the affordable housing category - since it's only affordable for those living in it presently. Under the circumstances of the building exiting M-L it may have been the best deal that could have been struck, except that it doesn't seem to protect tenants who may experience a decline in income, such as those who may become disabled or retire on modest pensions. It would have been considerate if the landlord had also agreed to accept Sec 8 vouchers from tenants who may qualify for the program i.e. due to changing circumstances may one day qualify for the program.


Cooperation should be taken seriously in IH. Some tenants might be better off buying their units but as elderly/disabled/moderate-income people, they may find it difficult to finance the purchase of their units. An effort must be made to secure financing for these people so they can possibly avoid the slow but inevitable upward creep of rents under rent stabilization. The information regarding programs must be made available to the tenants - so the low- to moderate-income tenants are not excluded from the opportunity to purchase their units. Since you are the Secretary of IHTA, please raise this point with the other directors. The opportunity for ownership should be made available to all tenants if at all possible.


Those tenants who are in retired/on fixed income/disabled who find a way to purchase their units should then be given a substantial break on their monthly maintenance charges - perhaps a formula could be devised that pegs maintenance according to income, or at least includes a substantial discount for low- to moderate-income residents. The residents earning more could pay a higher maintenance to make up for those who earn less and pay less maintenance. This will uphold the principles of cooperation in a holistic way - so that all tenants are given an opportunity to participate in the ownership of the building, even if they do not have a substantial income, or perhaps have fallen on hard times, or have retired or become disabled.


I am aware that the coop will not have the swimming pool. Even so, why not extract a promise from the landlord to repair the swimming pool and perhaps convert the swimming pool into a health club business for which he could charge a membership fee if he so wishes. The swimming pool in its present state is a minus. The only thing the swimming pool says is that the owner does not wish to spend the money to repair it - he does not want to put the money into the building for this needed repair. This reflects poorly on the owner and once the building is cooped, will have the same effect on the cooperators even if they do not own the swimming pool.


There is only one way to discuss the swimming pool in a meaningful way with the owner: Complete transparency of his books. If he has the money to repair the swimming pool, there is no reason for him not to do so. Since the pool was filled with river water by Sandy, he could apply for FEMA funds to repair the pool, although the time-frame to do so may have already expired. At least he could have gotten some money from the Federal gov in this way, although probably far from the amount needed for a complete repair and overhaul of the pool.


Otherwise, it would seem he is keeping the pool as a future bargaining chip, or asset to separately later sell to the cooperators at a higher price. Unfortunately, with the limited leverage of the IHTA, there is probably not much IHTA could do to convince the owner to repair the pool now.

Mark Lyon said...

You've certainly got the complaints angle covered. Do you have any solutions?

What are you doing to try and increase housing for low and middle-income people? Complaining on a neighborhood blog doesn't count.



Perhaps you, Mr. Blass and other like-minded folks could gather together and offer to build and operate a non-profit residential building on the island. With Southtown development not moving forward at the expected pace, perhaps the Board would be open to alternate proposals? If not here, maybe there is available land elsewhere.

CheshireKitty said...

That's a good, or maybe, in NYC, a somewhat Quixotic, idea - although I have heard of churches and community organizations building affordable housing in NYC. Maybe I'll relay it to the RIOC Real Estate Advisory Cttee meeting on Tuesday: RIOC should allow the founding of a non-profit organization to raise money to build a residential building on the island, and for this purpose, should offer land to the organization for free (just as Bloomberg gave Cornell the Goldwater land for free). I doubt if RIOC will even listen to this idea - they are in "business" to make money; it was never on their agenda to not make money, even under the GDP.


Anyway, building affordable housing doesn't mean the owner doesn't make money - they simply don't make as much money as they would if the building were market-rate. A developer might prefer the tax breaks he could get in exchange for building an affordable building.


RIOC simply has to revert to, or insist that developers include affordable housing as per the GDP, and not let them get away with tricks such as counting buildings leased to hospitals as "affordable".


To redress the shrinkage of the supply of affordable housing on RI, buildings 7, 8, and 9 in ST should be affordable.


RIOC resident board members should stand up for RI residents - but they never do. The only thing the RC RIOC board members seem to care about is their own pocketbooks - the value of their coops. Since they are the majority of the Board they vote as a bloc for r/e actions favoring them. Their property come first - keeping their property values high is their top priority.


What have they done for affordable housing? Not much. They could have invoked the GDP re ST - but never did.

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Blass, you've "moved on to this island a few months ago" but you're complaining about Eastwood (circa 2005-2006) being sold out by supposedly by Mr. Vass. You're starting to sound like Joe Carbo, right?

Here's the extended quotation 2013-05-21 18:46 from Bill Blass: "I moved on to this island a few months ago. And i can see the people in which run this island.and its not the rioc pres.".


Do I need to repeat the same points about Mr. Vass's advocacy of Island interests ... the same as I did for Joe Carbo?

CheshireKitty said...

IMO Blass = Carbo. Only Carbo keeps revisiting Vass. Blass/Carbo - One could ask you the same question: Where were you when Eastwood was being sold out? The answer is, none of us - neither Vass, Carbo, or me could have possibly done anything. Frank has nothing to do with the issue since, as he's indicated, he was involved in the IH tenants association at that time, thus was not in Eastwood. Only Kraut could have raised the issue at RIOC, but even he - forthright as he is - probably kept quiet because he didn't want to jeopardize his Board position. Kraut, a resident Board member, a former RIRA Pres - didn't object to the way the building exited. His "reward" - being retained as a Director. Yet, even if he had said something, would his sole voice on the Board made a difference? Probably not.

Bill Blass said...

I want you to know the.mr. Carbo has moved due to the fact that he got a job that made his income go over the limit for his sec 8. He was no longer getting sec 8

Bill Blass said...

Frank i really dont know how hurtful this deal in Eastwood has hurt the middle working class people in Eastwood who were placed into sec 8 belive me
It is at a point where its better not to Co to work. So stop telling me about ron vass i don't want to hear what he has done in the past he could go to hell

Bill Blass said...

Frank if you feel ron vass is such a good man for this island why dont you ask him to get the same deal in island house .yea you are going to love it. But only if you stop working

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Blass, here were some of the contours of the Eastwood negotiation:

- Your owner was pulling out of M-L (which they have a right to do).

- Because (I've heard) that at the time you had about 90% Section 8 tenants (now 80%), those tenants would have much difficulty funding a mortgage that would have enough raised cash at the point of conversion to fund the building, so you wouldn't be able convert to some kind of tenant ownership.

- Your tenancy does not have a strong/cohesive tenants association, e.g., right now there are several committees that claim to represent the tenants. Island House has always had a solid, cohesive tenants association ... Westview less so (don't know why).

- David Kraut (who boasts he knows his neighbors well) could have informed the RIOC Board about the kind of hardship, David Kraut could have informed the RIOC Board on how the affordable housing provisions of the GDP need to be maintained, and David Kraut could have informed RIOC about this would displace the seniors and disabled center (which 546 was designed for).

- RIOC was painfully weak and got little out of this, including little out of the real estate flip that netting about $600 million in profits soon afterwards. Jones Lang LaSalle, hired by RIOC, were the real estate advisers and seemed to be the only entity (other than Belson?) that made money on the transaction ... it was bad for RIOC, it was bad for the tenants, it was bad for the Island.

Now let's look at what you could have gotten out of the deal:

(1) keeping the existing tenants via Section 8 and LAP (Landlord Assistance Program), i.e., no mass evictions

... that's it, nothing else. In fact, you were lucky to keep Section 8 (there was no requirement to do so). I've heard Ron Vass advocated for #1 above.

So if you had to complain about someone, it would be David Kraut and RIOC ... because they were in the position to do something and push for something better.

It seems that Mr. Vass helped the tenancy as much as he could with the limited options, limited power, the unwillingness of RIOC, and the lack of Mr. Kraut's insight into his neighbors and their plight.

Bill Blass said...

Yes its me joe carbo. I changed my name because i felt I needed a more hipster sounding name.as the island is being
Invasioned
By hipsters this will make me more accepted by the new hipsters
Moving onto the island

Mark Lyon said...

...and? What's your alternative proposal?

Bill Blass said...

Now do you know whatfamilies they got te
The they got re t stof deal ron got and that guy you write about on
the r

Rioc broaD and the other 128 famiys got rent stabilize apartment a d

Bill Blass said...

See frank i am not on a fixed income this was am all time sell out of the working middle class. Now frank do you understand what the hell i am upset about

Bill Blass said...

And their apartmens never became.market rent. Nice deal right frank. Now tell.me more nice things about ron

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Blass, your description sounds like a fantastic deal for you and your house-mates (really) - better than what most working class New Yorkers would get. So in exchange for getting something you can't afford, you get housing pegged at a fixed percent of your income ... at 30%, that's about the same ratio (one third) most working class New Yorkers pay for their housing costs. Really. And most working class New Yorkers would have difficulty affording Eastwood's present rents. And for the prior M-L rents, there was a multi-year waiting list (which means many other people saw it as desirable, maybe not you).


In other words, Mr. Blass, you have a situation most other working class New Yorkers would desire - as demonstrated by the long waiting lists for that kind of housing.


If you really want to opt-out of Section 8 housing, you are free to: I just don't think you'd have the same kind of living situation, and the same kind of finances (you'd probably pay a higher percentage than 30% of your income for comparable housing).


In summary, I don't understand your complaint because your solution (not participating in Section 8 housing) would be worse for you and others.

Bill Blass said...

Frank just tell me. Would this deal good for you

Bill Blass said...

Frank sorry to say you will never understand

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Blass, the housing arrangements (which are based upon income) have been good enough that there have been long waits, i.e., maybe not desirable for you, but desirable for many other New Yorkers, which means others find it acceptable.

With your complaints about income, is the real problem: you make too much money but you want to take advantage of a societal benefit that is only available to people poorer than you?

Are you sure I don't understand you? :-)

Bill Blass said...

You don't understand.i want what Ron and the other 129 people. I am
Not on fix income you still have not answer my

CheshireKitty said...

I'm not so sure there are long waits anymore, dear Frank. The landlord is offering 3 mos free rent and free Metrocards for one year for every lessee to get people to lease units.


There was once a waiting list - when the rents were low. Now the landlord has to basically "bribe" people to rent there.

CheshireKitty said...

Oh yes - you should have gotten that and even better. But there was no-one who was going to stand up to Belson.

Didn't Berman disappear shortly after the building exited? Of course he did. Once the deed was done, the RIOC pres was changed again.

The sleight of hand, the charade was again played - so that residents would be "happy" the Governor was stepping in to correct a "wrong" (although it had been his man, Berman, and the Gov himself, who were really behind the "wrong").

There is no end to the duplicity and lies. The moderate income people - like yourself, Bill - were used. Once your usefulness was over, you were/are expendable!

What should have been issued to Eastwood tenants at the time of exit wasn't just Sec 8 vouchers or LAP leases - they should have been issued AAA memberships and road maps, to places like Allentown, Penna. or even Little Rock, Arkansas.


This is where NYS wants the moderate-income residents to migrate to - areas where the poor are quietly allowed to live out their "miserable" lives, with few sparsely funded services. That ensures the poor die out fast. This is the "solution" the elite have in mind for those that don't "measure up" - those that don't somehow latch on to the money merry-go-round i.e. low-paying job pays just enough to fork over most of it to landlord in rent; keep doing this until you die then repeat the process for generation after generation. Once a person is out of this game - for any reason, the system basically wants them dead - asap.

anonymous said...

Frank has a 3 bedroom but his kids visit, they don't live there - would he then just get a studio? Kind of hogging the affordable housing anyway.

anonymous said...

I think technically the MSKCC and Cornell housing counts for the "affordability quota" - the units for those people are priced much lower than market - sad that no one else can live there when many of the units are empty...

CheshireKitty said...

The units are affordable for certain categories of MSKCC and Cornell employees: Drs including Fellows, post-docs, nurses, maybe research study assistants. So the units are not even available to all in the MSKCC or Cornell communities, much less available to the general public. That is the travesty of counting the MSKCC & Cornell housing toward the "affordable" housing posited by the GDP. It's like saying if Cornell-Technion builds housing on its campus, that too would count toward the affordable housing on RI.


IMO - RIOC should redress the wrong by inviting a non-profit organization to develop 8 and 9 (since it's already agreed to let Related build 7). Otherwise, the GDP can just be considered a remnant - a relic - from a more idealistic time.

anonymous said...

Good thing that student housing would never be considered affordable by any standard. I paid over $13k for 9 months of housing at NYU in the equivalent of a Junior 1 bedroom with another person (who also paid the same amount). That was almost 10 years ago, I'm sure they are charging more now.

CheshireKitty said...

Who knows? These employees get all sorts of breaks - I know that. The Fellows are paid peanuts so they can't possibly charge them that much for housing. NYU might be different, since it's an expensive school to begin with. I'm not surprised that a small 1-BR was going for that much 10 yrs ago. Of course it'd be more by now.

CheshireKitty said...

You mean under Sec 8? If Frank qualified for a Sec 8 voucher but his kids had grown up and moved out then he would be downsized. Under the LAP, 2 BR and under apts are not downsized but I think 3 BR apts are subject to downsizing once the kids move out.


Even if the kids only visit occasionally, a parent gets to keep the original apt as if the kids were still there since there is no way of knowing future circumstances: A parent may die or may decide they have had enough of the kids, or the kids themselves may decide to switch their residence to that of the other parent.

Bill Blass said...

Frank after reading all I wrote then you say i got a great deal
The only reason i can come up with for you to say that is You are a lackly for ron vass. You are rons lap dog.

Bill Blass said...

Thank god there is one person on this island who is aware of mess that Eastwood has become and who were the players.frank talks from both sides of his month now i k know he cannot be trusted

Bill Blass said...

Frank do you know how to read i can not give up sec 8because my apartment became market rent cant you understand this if it did not become market rent i would not need sec 8 understand i hope you get a deal like i got then maybe you will understand
I always respected
You
But after telling me i got agreat deal. I have loss all respect for you

Bill Blass said...

You are such a fool saying i am getting an apartment i cant afford. Well take one guess why i can't afford it .don't you know why i am in sec 8. Wake the up

Frank Farance said...

CheshireKitty, I believe you and Bill Blass have a misunderstanding about the M-L program: you want it to go one forever, but it cannot be so, even if the owners want to. M-L is primarily a method of apportioning actual building expenses towards rent (and rent increases) while giving the owner a variety of benefits (such as tax abatements).

The resulting societal benefit is that apartments can be rented at low rates because the building is new (great for promoting affordable housing). However, once the building becomes middle-aged (25-40 years later), many of the major systems are in need of significant overhaul. If the building owners were to continue charging the actual cost of running a building, it is at this point that the rent increases would greatly increase, possibly approaching market rate.

In other words, had you stayed in M-L, you rents would be significantly increasing ... and DHCR would support it because it reflects the actual cost of running the building.

Maybe no one explained that to Eastwood tenants. In my building, maybe I myself wouldn't have been able to explain that 8 years ago, but with a better understanding of how the building's finances work (e.g., the M-L Budget Rent Determination process), I can see that M-L **DOES NOT EQUAL AFFORDABILITY**, M-L buildings are only affordable in their younger life.


So at some point, the way the building collects rent needs to change, and that is why buildings exit M-L and move to some kind of different affordability plan.

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Blass, in M-L (too) the rent went up based upon income. You seem to forget that M-L had surcharges too, based upon your income up to 50%.



So both in M-L and in Section 8 (as you describe), the rent goes up when your income goes up.

Bill Blass said...

Yes but there is a point where it stops at the 236 market rent then a persons incomes is no longer used as they will then pay the sur charge then they can make as much as they want without the rent going up

Bill Blass said...

One other point frank ron did not get sec 8 for East wood that is a fact

Bill Blass said...

No frank i do not want a gov hand out to pay my rent

Frank Farance said...

Question on Toilet Flushing Restrictions in RIOC Poster - An Old Wives' Tale?

Ms. Indelicato, Mr. Shinozaki, Mr. Guerra:

In response to the power outage on Friday, RIOC asked people to "keep flushing toilets to a minimum". Can you explain the origin of this emergency response suggestion, and the operational validity?

The Toilet Flushing restriction in not in any other ConEd or NotifyNYC (OEM) announcements elsewhere when there are power concerns, so I called ConEd and asked for an explanation, who then confirmed with the person in charge on site at Roosevelt Island: (1) ConEd did not make the request restrict toilet flushing, and (2) it makes no sense to them.

I asked some other people if they thought the lack of toilet flushing would minimize the water pumps' electric usage. I spoke to one of the building supers and he said "That's Stupid". Which was my understanding, too. The water pumps use a tiny amount of electricity, compared to hallway lights, elevators, refrigerators, washing machines, and (some) dryers. So there are many more choices that would be more effective than the result of flushing toilets.

But let's pretend flushing toilets was a value concern, then you'd also be asking for general water restrictions (showers, baths, clothes-washing, etc.), or if you were concerned about sewage you'd be asking for similar restrictions (showers, etc.). But you weren't.

So the Toilet Flushing restrictions either:

(1) had no validity at all (because they correspond to a tiny amount of electric consumption compared to other tenant/building options),

(2) had been conveyed ineptly (because water reduction would apply more so in other areas).

Limiting Toilet Flushing sounds like an Old Wives' Tale. See "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_wives%27_tale" where they are described as "An old wives' tale is a type of urban legend, similar to a proverb, .... Such "tales" usually consist of superstition, folklore or unverified claims with exaggerated and/or untrue details", for example: "Making silly faces when the wind direction changes will make the silly face permanent"; and "Don't swallow gum or it will stay in your stomach for seven years".

Ms. Indelicato, although this isn't the Crime Of The Century, it typifies the incompetence that exists within RIOC, such as your Operations Committee (Mr. Shinozaki should have known better, Mr. Polivy who heads the RI CERT should have known better) and your Emergency Management director (for years, Mr. Guerra has not convened the quarterly emergency management meetings among managing agents, and (thus) missed the opportunity to (in)validate a Stupid Idea by discussing it with the supers).

Are we really at the point of RIOC passing on emergency management advice that has no/little operational validity? (ConEd and OEM, in response to power issues, don't restrict toilet flushing elsewhere in the City.)

Could you let us know the origin of this poor emergency management advice you are telling the residents? Residents expect more than Old Wives' Tales from RIOC. Thank you.

Frank Farance

CheshireKitty said...

That is certainly interesting but since I'm not that familiar with the way the expenses would have been passed on to the tenants, I can't really say if that is true. I do know the expense of the new windows was not passed on to the tenants.
There is at least one building that has stayed in M-L (or a combination of programs including M-L) in perpetuity, Manhattan Plaza on 42 St bet 9 & 10 Aves.


In this huge project, various programs are in effect: Sec 8, M-L, market-rate, maybe even additional programs such as rent stabilization. The idea was to promote community/neighborhood preservation in Hell's Kitchen, especially within the large community in that area of those in theater-related occupations, who may have varying incomes, as well as extending affordable housing to the elderly.

Frank Farance said...

CK, yes in M-L the expenses determine how much the rent will be and apportioned, I believe, by the number of rooms (not the same as bedrooms). The Eastwood windows were done after M-L exit, but it is possible that they were paid for by M-L ... someone who had participated in the Eastwood budget-rent determination (BRD) process would know.

Mark Lyon said...

Yes, the lift stations pump our waste from near the hospitals over to Queens. They're electrically powered so outages will cause them to shut down. There is a bit of storage capacity built into them, but once that's exceeded, plumbing starts to back up.

I spent a lot of time after Katrina helping various municipalities secure funding for generators at their lift stations. There, gravity-fed water systems generally were able to provide the water supplies needed during the extended power outages, but the backed-up sewer systems created quite a mess.

CheshireKitty said...

Look, the market is artificially inflated. Once NYC became the "in" place to live, the hordes descended - driving up demand. One by one, all the formerly cheap/ethnic neighborhoods are succumbing to gentrification. There is no problem with yuppies/hipsters/rich moving in. The problem is the land values going up and rents with them.


This effectively "homogenizes" previously diverse neighborhoods - a good example is what happened to N. Williamsburg, overrun now with hordes of trust-fund kids, or just Caucasian youth in general.


You'll see the pushback if they encroach on Puerto Rican and Hasidic S. Williamsburg. Hasidic property owners in this area will be loathe to agree to yuppie-friendly development of their properties, even if offered inflated prices.


The yuppies will come against the Hasids in other areas of Brooklyn and will find they will not budge. The Orthodox/Hasidic areas will remain untouched by "gentrification" and of course, cheap.

CheshireKitty said...

That's a key infrastructure weakness - not having backup power for lift stations - that most (like me) wouldn't even be aware of. Do you think we should get generators for our lift stations?

Mark Lyon said...

It's entirely dependent on the reserve capacity of the system and the frequency and duration of expected outages. On an all-electric island like ours, we'd likely be better served by increasing the redundancy of the power supply for the whole island rather than just fixating on one particular problem.


In many of the municipalities, we were able to make do with a large trailer-mounted generator that could be moved between stations. Each station would be pre-wired to connect to the generator and they'd just move around in a circuit clearing a station and then moving to the next.


With just two lift stations on the island, though, it's likely not cost-effective to invest in backup power solely for that purpose. It might be economical as part of a combined solution for Octagon and the Hospital, though.

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Lyon, I believe there are four problems with your statement:

#1: The pumps we're saving for seem to be the building's water pumps, not the Island's sewage pumps, as per the WIRE's announcement 2013-05-24 13:45 "Rivercross has asked residents to avoid toilet-flushing so that pumps will operate less".

#2: The announcement concerned only toilet-flushing, but mentioned nothing about the higher water consumption and higher sewage production devices, e.g., sink, tub/shower, washer.

#3: Creating sewage is *not* an issue because the pump is still working, and the pump keeps pumping while the electricity is on, i.e., there is no sewage savings to accrue while the power is on.

#4: Some back of envelop numbers from a variety of sources: with 11,000 residents at 75 gal/day water consumption (just learned that tidbit at the NYC DEP poetry awards presentation for my kids), that's an average of 573 gal/min. With some other numbers for power consumption (e.g., "http://denr.sd.gov/dfta/wwf/greenproject_yankton.pdf", PDF page 3), scaling 388,037 gal/day at 28,199 kWhr/year to the Islands 875,000 gal/day, produces approx. 6.8 kWhr/hr, i.e., about 57 amps (at 120 volts), which is around the normal usage for one apartment, maybe two.

So turning off (say) four 1800-watt blow dryers should be enough savings, right? In other words, a relatively tiny amount to keep the sewage pumping.


Of course, there might be more accurate numbers for the Island, so I Reserve The Right To Update My Opinions Based Upon Additional Information. :-) Hopefully, you can give us some more accurate numbers.

CheshireKitty said...

Maybe the issue was that the other types of water usage - such as from washing dishes or taking showers - don't lead as much to potential problems as does flushing toilets. If dirty dish water, or water from showers backs up, although it is bad, it isn't as bad health-wise as untreated sewage waste. Maybe that's why flushing was specifically mentioned.


Also, even with the generators, I wonder if the lift pumps were powered during out electrical outage. Priority may not have been given to the lift pumps. Thus, the problem with trying to limit the amount of sewage going into the storage area of the waste system - since there was no way to pump it over to Queens.

OldRossie said...

What an ingenious analysis. The "yuppies", i.e., caucasian youth (your words) detract from "diversity". Maybe you should just state which races and income levels are allowed on the island?

Better still, change the name back to Welfare Island. I think that'll help retain the environment you're looking for.

YetAnotherRIer said...

If only you had the skill to come over as a polite human being inquiring about something instead of calling everybody from the get go stupid, you'd be a lot more respected, Frank. You are an intelligent person. Work on your manners.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Whatever it was. Fact is that flushing a toilet requires a lot of water that needs to be pumped. It's just a bit of paranoia but this is certainly not something I'd call the RIOC out over unless you are trying to make a much bigger point here.

Frank Farance said...

Flushing a toilet requires about 1.3 gallons of water, compared to the 75 gallons per person per day. That's not a lot of savings. Even when there are water shortages, they don't say reduce flushing, they say things like: serving water to customers in restaurants only upon request.

The bigger point is that RIOC still has problems with its emergency management ideas and, thanks to Guerra's head-in-the-sand policy for several years, there is little knowledge sharing or validation, so we get Old Wives' Tales for advice (not sure if it's Indelicato, Shinozaki, or Guerra).

Ditto for Octagon in hurricane Sandy: had Guerra convened the quarterly emergency planning meetings, maybe Octagon residents (via their managing agent) would have been able to call upon their neighbors in MP, WV, IH, RC, RL for help with some of Octagon's needs, including on-site staff, pickup trucks, etc..

CheshireKitty said...

It's in the developers' interest to scrub the island free of poor minority residents - since they cannot pay the artificially inflated housing prices the developers demand.


Just take a walk down Bedford Ave in N Williamsburg any day to see how the market drives ethnic cleansing in our society: That gentrified area is now scrubbed of African American and Hispanic American residents, yet Caucasians, as of the 2010 census, only account for 44.6% of NYC's population.


What's lacking in Williamsburg is about 45% more affordable housing to accommodate the population that cannot afford artificially expensive housing costs. If 45% more African Americans and Hispanic Americans lived in Williamsburg, we wouldn't have the de facto segregation - driven by the artificially inflated housing prices - we now see in Williamsburg. As I said in my prior post, the yuppies will find push back if they try to expand into S Williamsburg since the Hasids - another ethnic group - will not sell their properties for development.


You tell me why there is an association between the black and Hispanic ethnic groups and (1) higher unemployment rates (2) lower income levels (3) inability to afford the inflated prices demanded by market-rate rentals. Is it perchance, stubborn racism?


I'm not opposed to Caucasians; after all, I'm a Caucasian myself. I'm opposed to segregation in housing, which can result from a number of reasons. Neighborhoods should be fully racially integrated because society only benefits from diversity. Isn't racism unfair? Or maybe you don't think so - maybe you think it's simply the luck of the draw, or tough luck, if folks are denied jobs or opportunities because of their skin color.


You can't explain gentrification any other way, Rossie. Ethnic neighborhoods are rendered white mostly, because the only people who can afford the artificially inflated housing prices are mostly whites.

Frank Farance said...

Actually, I get respect at RIOC, my concerns are heard loud and clear. Feedback I've heard on Indelicato: her honeymoon lasted 30 min some time in April. When she is appointed as a RIOC Director as an Island resident, which is permitted in the RIOC By-Laws, you'll see some more community outrage.

As for politeness, I've addressed RIOC politely ... please re-read my E-mails: "Are we really at the point of RIOC passing on emergency management advice that has no/little operational validity? (ConEd and OEM, in response to power issues, don't restrict toilet flushing elsewhere in the City.) Could you let us know the origin of this poor emergency management advice you are telling the residents? Residents expect more than Old Wives' Tales from RIOC. Thank you.". Certainly that's copy that could have been written in the NY Times or a Daily News editorial (because I've seen similar wording in those newspapers).

See, it's polite. As usual, I suspect the problem with your complaint is: your own insecurities about your own intellectual / rhetorical skills. If you didn't have insecurities, you wouldn't be making the kinds of complaints you do (and doing it anonymously).

Whereas, I don't feel insecure when I see one of your posts on (say) Department of Buildings info -- I saw your post and thought, "YetAnotherRIer - what a good find!" (Really, I was impressed with your post.) I like to be informed by people, and that includes reading your posts, too.

OldRossie said...

You alone are drawing a connection between race and income, and I'm sure no one else here wants to read about it. Good luck fighting off those darned white yuppies.

CheshireKitty said...

"Wealth Gap Among Races Has Widened Since Recession" http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/29/business/racial-wealth-gap-widened-during-recession.html?pagewanted=all is the title of an April 2013 Times article describing the disproportionate effects of the economic downturn on black, white, and Hispanic families, intensifying the already-existing wealth gap. If you don't believe me, read the article and inform yourself.


It's common knowledge there is a connection between wealth and race in the US. Thus, it's no surprise that mostly whites - yuppies, hipsters, trust fund kids - can afford the inflated housing prices in gentrified neighborhoods. Racial wealth inequality in the US is caused by institutional racism mostly.


Why should I fight whites? After all - I'm a white Kitty. I'm sure whites would also appreciate fair instead of artificially inflated housing prices. The difference today is only whites, or mostly whites, can afford the inflated housing prices - thus leading to the removal of ethnic groups, linked to lower income levels because of institutional racism, from gentrified neighborhoods. Whites today mostly have the dubious "honor" (or perhaps, the herd-mentality/stupidity) of being shamelessly exploited by r/e hype in these gentrified neighborhoods. Are they lucky to live there..? Hah! Remember: Exploitation does not discriminate!


The inflated housing prices are based on organized fraud/greed in the r/e market. Under our system, eventually and inevitably, the bubble will burst and prices will tumble. This cyclical or recurring story of speculative periods of inflated housing prices followed by collapses will make the gentrified neighborhoods affordable again. It's not a matter of if it will happen, but when.

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