Rockaway lawmaker steps in to help seniors get food donations that co-op board denied them

SPA Food Delivery DBP pt. 2
Courtesy of Pheffer Amato’s office

A long-running battle with a Rockaway Beach co-op board led Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the NYPD’s 100th Precinct to distribute food to seniors at Dayton Beach Park on May 1.

The food delivery, which became necessary due to the coronavirus emergency, was refused by the co-op board and ended up at the neighboring Dayton Towers for storage.

“When I found out that the board of directors refused the delivery of food, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” Pheffer Amato said. “At a time like this, our community always steps up for those that are the most vulnerable, and today was no exception.”

More than 40 local volunteers joined the effort and helped distribute more than 400 boxes of packaged groceries were delivered to seniors in all five buildings at the complex located at 8600 Shore Front Parkway.

“I am proud of my community who came from all parts of my district, and our neighbors throughout the borough of Queens, to make sure our senior citizens were able to get the food they need,” Pheffer Amato said. “I want to thank all the volunteers who came out to help us, the NYPD 100th Precinct, the Dayton Towers board of directors, members of 32BJ in Dayton Towers who helped us load the food into volunteer cars, and HPD for understanding the magnitude of the issue and helping to distribute the food.”

Pheffer Amato added that this is not the first instance of improper behavior by the board at the 1,100 unit complex which is part of HPD’s Mitchell-Lama program which provides affordable housing options for middle-income residents. Pheffer Amato joined shareholders who filed an Article 78 against the Board of Directors, which has not facilitated an election in the buildings for more than three years, amongst other indiscretions.

Additionally, in January 2018, the NYC Department of Investigations filed an extensive report confirming numerous improprieties with both the board and former management company. Pheffer Amato is also a member of the New York State Assembly Working Group on Mitchell-Lama Housing.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it so many at-risk New Yorkers are depending on these food deliveries,” HDP Commissioner Louise Carroll said. “In times of crisis, we must band together to help the most vulnerable among us, which is why we partnered with the Assembly Member and the broader community to do the right thing by making sure hundreds of our seniors get the fresh food they need.”

An administrator at Dayton Beach Park said members of the Board of Directors weren’t available to comment on the subject.