Tenants living in 36 rent-regulated units in six buildings in Ridgewood, Queens are fighting to retake their home from private equity firm Stabilis Capital.
The properties, located at 1821 and 1896 Cornelia Street, 1726, 1673 and 1675 Woodbine Street and 18-14 Linden Street have appealed to the city to back them up on charges that Stabilis has allowed the buildings to fall into disrepair.
“We don’t have locks on the doors, no bells that work, and any fixing we have to do on our own,” Denise Serrano, tenant leader of one of the six buildings, told the New York Daily News. “Everything is cracking, and the heat and hot water, sometimes, so that gets turned off.”
Stabilis is attempting to acquire the properties through foreclosure proceedings, a process the original landlord Steven Kates has been fighting in court for over six years, according to the Daily News. The tenants, meanwhile, are requesting more than $1 million in incentives, loans and tax breaks the city offers via affordable housing, so that they can undertake much-needed improvements.
While Stabilis does not yet own the buildings, residents fear the company will eventually get it and flip the properties for profit.
“Stabilis has funded hundreds of thousands of dollars of its own funds to address repairs and maintenance,” Konstantin Shishkin, a spokesperson for the private equity firm, told the Daily News. “(We) would be open to receiving and responding to any legitimate offers.” [NYDN] — Julie Strickland