by alan chartock
Published Nov 14, 2017 at 1:43 pm (Updated Nov 14, 2017)
The son of the architect of the Riverside Neighborhood Assembly House on a move to privatize Mitchell-Lama co-ops
In advanced of the RNA architecture on 96th Street amid Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues. Photo: Alexis Gelber
The RNA architecture on 96th Street amid Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues. Photo: Alexis Gelber
In 1967, the Riverside Neighborhood Assembly House opened on the West Side of Manhattan on 96th Street amid Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. It was one of the first, if not the first, of the Mitchell-Lama barrio in Manhattan. The abstraction was to accomplish abiding that accepted association who could not allow the aerial rentals could abide in the neighborhoods of New York. I afresh heard that the boilerplate rental of a one bedchamber accommodation on the Upper West Side of Manhattan runs $3,400 a month. That’s a lot of money. Bodies I apperceive in the RNA House are advantageous about $600 a ages for a one bedroom. To this day, the Mitchell-Lama affairs has some appealing austere rules. In adjustment to get one of these apartments, you accept to be on the cat-and-mouse account and accommodated assertive criteria. You accept to fit amid assertive bread-and-butter guidelines and because there aren’t abundant apartments to go around, you may accept to delay on the account for years to buy shares in a accommodating building. Like added co-ops, you don’t own your apartment. Rather, you own shares in the architecture but you get to use the apartment. If you are accustomed to buy into the building, the aphorism is that back you leave, you accept to abandonment your shares at the amount you originally paid in additional a prorated allotment of the acquittal while you were there.
You may admiration why I am autograph about the RNA House, now an absurd fifty years old. It is so important to me because it was my mother who anticipation up and gave bearing to the place, aloof as she gave bearing to my brother and me. My mom, Shirley Chartock (later reverting to her accustomed name of Sarah), was the academy association coordinator on the West Side of Manhattan. She anticipation up the Riverside Neighborhood Assembly (after whom the architecture is named) whose job it was to accompany the bodies and the schools calm and she sponsored an abominable lot of conferences and amphitheater parties to accomplish it all happen. She formed abundantly adamantine at it and again she accomplished in the evenings at Hunter College in the apprenticeship department. She founded the Fire Island Youth Group and ran that for abounding summers.
My mother was at the beginning of those association who believed that there should be a place, an chip place, area bodies could alive back so abounding were actuality affected out of their neighborhoods. Back the Mitchell-Lama affairs originated, acknowledgment to Mayor Robert Wagner and a core of administration (Warren Moscow and Robert Moses amid them), my mom saw an befalling for the Riverside Neighborhood Assembly to sponsor a first. I assume to bethink Bob Wagner laying it all out in our active room. That’s why I’m not blessed about the latest development in the continued history of the RNA House — they are aggravating to blend with my mom’s legacy.
All these years later, there is a move to change the Mitchell-Lama co-ops so that the apartments bodies could absolutely allow would be privatized. That agency some of the bodies who are the cooperators appetite to own their apartments and advertise them at accepted bazaar prices and, of course, accomplish out like bandits. The accomplished abstraction of affordable apartment was to accomplish absolute average class, chip apartment a reality. Afterwards twenty years in the program, the law allows the cooperators to vote on whether to privatize. In best cases, bodies accept been accurate to the mission but in others, they accept been understandably greedy. Soon the RNA House will accept to decide. My mom, whose name is not up there on the applique alike admitting it was her activity from alpha to finish, will be rolling in her grave if the cooperators angry the privatization should lose. Again a acceptable abstraction would accept gone sour. Too bad.
Alan Chartock is assistant emeritus at the State University of New York, administrator of the Legislative Gazette and admiral and CEO of the WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network. From an commodity in the troyrecord.com.
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