New York, NY – NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson
joined Representative Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Gale A.
Brewer, Senator Brad Hoylman, and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal to protect
seniors at Riverview Senior Independent Living after the owner suddenly decided
to sell the building, which will force the elderly tenants out of their homes.
Senior housing is in short supply in this city, so this closure places a
tremendous burden on the residents of Riverview.
In the letter, the elected officials demanded more
information from Homes for the Homeless Institute, Inc., the owner of the
building, and requested an immediate tenant meeting as well as a separate
meeting with elected officials. The owner immediately agreed to a meeting after
receiving this letter.
The full text of the letter is below and the letter itself
Speaker Corey Johnson
will hold a media availability on this issue at City Hall at 3 pm.
Dear Mr. Ralph da Costa Nunez:
We are writing on behalf of our constituents who
reside at the Riverview Senior Independent Living (“Riverview”), located at 519
West 49th Street.
In a memo circulated to residents on December 3, 2019,
Jessica Schmidt the Director of the Riverview informed its residents that the
building owner, Homes for the Homeless Institute, Inc., decided to sell the
building and that Riverview would be closing “sometime in the first few months
of 2020.” Presenting senior citizens, one of whom is a 99-year old holocaust
survivor, with a vague and frightening update about the future of their homes,
especially during the holiday season, is indefensible.
It is imperative that Homes for the Homeless
provide its tenants with more information about the sale of the building,
convene a tenant meeting with them to discuss alternatives and provide those
who wish to find alternative accommodations with adequate time to do so.
The lack of communication surrounding this issue is wrong, especially for a non-profit that prides itself in helping families escape homelessness. In addition to the requests above, we request an urgent meeting with Homes for the Homeless to discuss this issue. Please contact Speaker Corey Johnson’s district office to schedule this meeting as soon as possible.