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Tenants of Standard Companies & Winn Residential Deserve Better

Congressman Jerry Nadler, Assembly Member Richard Gottfried & Tenants of Polyclinic Apartments Rally to Demand Restoration of Gas Service

New York, N.Y. — Today, Congressman Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Assembly Member Richard Gottfried and tenants of Polyclinic Apartments rallied to demand Standard Companies & Winn Residential speed up the restoring of cooking gas after cutting service nearly nine months ago, and with no date set for restoration. Polyclinic Apartments is a 151-unit at Project-Based Section 8 development, located at 345-349 West 50th Street, overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Renewal (HUD).

Standard Companies & Winn Residential cut gas service to the building in June 2018 after discovering pervasive leaks, without informing HUD. Nine months later, the companies still do not have a construction plan to restore gas to tenants. All tenants, including families with young children and elderly, have been forced to use hot-plates and toaster ovens to prepare meals, and have been given a measly $20 per month rental credit for their trouble.

“There is one reason these tenants do not have gas – a complete lack of urgency on behalf of the owner and management to make the necessary repairs,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “It is shocking that nine months later the owner and management still do not have approved construction plans to restore gas and allow tenants to resume cooking in their own homes.”

Standard Companies and Winn Residential have refused to tell tenants when they expect to have approved construction plans, but have said that it will be at least six months after approval before gas will be restored, bringing the total time tenants will be without gas well beyond a year.

“The Empire State Building was constructed in a year and 45 days and yet these companies are going to take longer to figure out how to replace existing gas lines,” said Assembly Member Richard Gottfried. “The ability to cook in your own home is essential; denying tenants access to a stove and oven indefinitely is unacceptable. And on top of that, to claim that $20 a month is fair compensation for being deprived of a stove is outrageous.”

“Polyclinic residents cannot continue to be caught in the middle of a Winn Residential/Department of Buildings blame-game,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “It is unacceptable that the tenants of Polyclinic have been without gas for 9 months, and management should do anything it can do expedite the return of safe gas service.”

“It's absolutely egregious that Polyclinic tenants have been forced to go without gas for nine months,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. “Management has failed to fulfill their most basic responsibility and must expedite the return of safe gas service immediately. Polyclinic tenants have suffered long enough. I’m extremely grateful to Congressman Nadler for organizing today’s rally and bringing much needed public attention to this outrage.”

Comments from tenants of Polyclinic:

“I have lived in Polyclinic, a Section 8 HUD housing for 38 years,” said Gladys Santoni. “In all my years at Polyclinic, I have never seen such awful management like Winn Residential. We want Winn Residential to respect tenants and to do the repairs on our gas as soon as possible. We do not want another Christmas without our gas.”

“En el tiempo que he vivido en este edificio, nunca había experimentado la dejadez y negligencia que ha mostrado la nueva administración del edificio, Winn Residential. En mi caso, la falta de gas ha elevado los costos de electricidad significativamente. También, es difícil tener que lidiar  con el misterio de no saber si en la mañana tendré agua, o si habrá agua caliente, o si será demasiado caliente, y saber que nadie de la administración atenderá mis reclamos,” dijo Ramona Maria.

Translation: “In the time I have lived in this building, I have never experienced such neglect and negligence as shown by the new building management, Winn Residential. In my case, the lack of gas has caused my electricity bills to increase significantly. At the same time, it is difficult to have to deal with the mystery of not knowing if in the morning I will have water, or if there will be hot water, if it’ll be too hot and to know that no one from management will respond to my complaints,” said Ramona Maria.

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