Parkchester South Condo residents protest increased common charges

(l-r) Iftekar Siraj; Raymond Maldonado; Joanne Savino; Mazeda Uddin, SAFEST president and founder and Senator Diaz were among the many concerned people protesting the Parkchester Management’s proposed 15% monthly increase in common charges at last Wednesday’s rally.
Photo by Miriam Quin

Parkchester South Condominium owners and elected officials voiced their displeasure with the recently announced common charge increase.

On Wednesday, February 10, Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda and Parkchester South Condominium owners and tenants converged in front of Parkchester Preservation Management’s office to protest the ‘draconian’ hike.

The group rallied at 2000 E. Tremont Avenue office to express their opposition to management’s plan in impose a 15.19% monthly common charges increase on the Parkchester South Condominium owners.

In addition, the senator and assemblyman announced plans to file an injunction to block imposition of the monthly hike. Owners were asked to contribute $15 for legal costs.

“Fifteen percent is abusive for people working two or three jobs to support their families to pay,” said Senator Diaz. “I own an apartment at Parkchester South Condominium and I’ve seen first hand how many of the condos’ senior citizens struggle to afford living there.”

Senator Diaz said they are in the process of hiring an attorney to take the case to court.

Last Wednesday’s rally drew over 100 Parkchester participants.

Among the protestors was Dr. Mazeda Uddin, South Asian Fund for Education Scholarship Training president, who is representing over 2,000 PSC owners who signed a petition against the increase.

Uddin noted every year Parkchester management has increased PSC’s maintenance fee by 3% to 4%, but this year’s raise is a ‘record breaking amount’.

“The Parkchester South Condominium Board, after carefully reviewing all options, acted in the best interests of our fellow owners by temporarily increasing common charges to address critical repairs that could potentially lead to safety issues for our residents,” said Abu Shakoor, PSC president. “These repairs are necessary and critical to the structural integrity of the Parkchester South buildings, the safety of our community, and the security of our investments,” he added.

Shakoor explained the 15.19% temporary common charge increase will pay for critically needed repair after management discovered wide-spread water infiltration and roof slab damage which must be handled immediately.

If not addressed, Shakoor said this could lead to a possible ceiling collapse resulting in potential injuries, owner displacement and leaving units in a state of disrepair rendering them unsellable.

He said while PSC understands this increase will be difficult for many residents, he said it will be a short-term sacrifice.

Once work is completed in 2017, PSC’s board intends to revert the common charges back to 2015 levels.

The board will review the budget needs of 2018 and may increase common charges only to cover increases in non-discretionary expenses such as heating fuel and other utilities, union contract wages and unforeseen capital needs.

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