RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Anthony Giudice
Councilman Antonio Reynoso rallies with residents outside of 1708 Summerfield St. to demand repairs be made to their homes.

“Ridgewood is not for sale!”

That was the rally cry from public officials, members of the Ridgewood Tenants Union and residents of 1708 Summerfield St. who gathered outside the building on Tuesday morning to protest their landlord, whom many claim is using unfair tactics to drive the tenants out of the rent-regulated building.

The new owners of the 39-unit apartment building, Silvershore Management, purchased the building in November of 2015, according to Councilman Antonio Reynoso, who has been helping residents in his district fight back against corrupt landlords.

“[We] are going to send a clear message to Silvershore, and any property owners that want to come into Ridgewood and think that they can displace the residents that have lived here for many, many years,” Reynoso said. “It’s not going to happen.”

All of the units at 1708 Summerfield St. are rent-regulated, with some tenants receiving Section 8 vouchers, which help low-income tenants pay for their rent. The building recently failed a Section 8 inspection, due to a lack of repairs, which means Section 8 will stop paying its portion of the rent, leading to tenants being forced out of their homes because they cannot afford to live there.

“They are known for buying undervalued properties in not-yet-established neighborhoods,” said Raquel Namuche, of the Ridgewood Tenants Union. “They try to drive out long-term tenants, like these, and they make improvements and then they increase the rents by significant amounts. Silvershore Properties is a predatory landlord, and at this building they have failed to make repairs and they put people’s tenancy at risk by not making these repairs.”

There are currently 127 violations on the property, with 27 Class A violations which need to be repaired within 48 hours, Reynoso said. Some of the problems tenants have been facing and asking for repairs on include cracked and falling ceilings, waters leaks, mold and pests such as roaches and rats.

“We need justice here. We need to have our apartment fixed,” said Gloria Nives, a longtime tenant of the building. “The apartments a lot of people have here the ceilings falling, there is a lot of mold inside, starting from the roof, down going through the walls to the windows coming inside the apartments. We need [Silvershore] to fix it because [they] are trying to pull our Section 8 away.”

Reynoso is looking at opportunities to work with the Alternative Enforcement Program, which comes in and does the necessary repairs to the building through the city, and then charges the landlord for the repairs. This makes the building to passable in the Section 8 inspection, allowing residents to continue to receive their Section 8 vouchers.

“Silvershore recently purchased 1708 Summerfield St. in November 2015 from a long-term hands-off owner and as a result there were certain upgrades that needed to be made to the property,” a Silvershore spokesperson said. “We have requested certain tenants to permit us access to their apartments to make repairs and they have repeatedly denied us access. Silvershore is making and will continue to make every effort to correct all violations and make necessary repairs at the property.”

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George L. Rosario February 25, 2016 / 06:04AM
Ladies and gentleman, please do not allow the new owners to fool you. A spokesperson for Silvershore is quoted as saying, “We have requested certain tenants to permit us access to their apartments to make repairs and they have repeatedly denied us access." I can tell you that this is absolutely not true. My parents live in this building. I have friends who live in this building. When I used to do Rental I found apartments for people in this building and they are still there. Other than the first time when Silvershore first sent two young men to introduce themselves as the owner's representatives, no one else has made an attempt to come into this building to repair anything. The tenants have been complaining that their apartments are being overrun buy roaches and mice and nothing has been done. Faucets are leaking, paint is chipping, mold is growing inside closets and bathrooms and near the kitchen windows, the garbage is sometimes not removed for more than a week, the heat has been set in such a way that only the first and second floor apartments get heat, my sons and I shoveled the snow after this year's record-breaking snowfall because no one from the management or owners side came to do it, the long time elderly tenants in this building have taken it upon themselves to clean the hallways because no one else is doing it, some of the apartments have their ceilings falling piece by piece on top of the tenants, and we have repeatedly asked the owners to send help and all they have sent was the two representatives at the very beginning of their purchase. I have the first initial letter that these representatives gave out to every tenant. We have not seen them since. My mother is 72 years old. She does not want to move. She's very happy with her one bedroom, first floor apartment. At least she was very happy until this new owner completely abandoned the tenants and the needs of the building. My mother has been in this building since 2008. She does not want to move because of her age, she feels it would be strange to start somewhere else. Besides, the rent in Ridgewood have become so expensive that she would not be able to afford a one bedroom apartment on the first floor on her very limited budget. I am so upset with the current situation that I've asked her to move in with us, but she refuses to leave her apartment. She says there is no reason for anyone to kick her out of there because she has always paid her rent and has never been a problem for the landlord. You know what? She is right! Why should she moved from the place where she has felt safe for so many years? But these new owners not looking at this from the perspective of an elderly woman who does not want to start over again somewhere else. They are using a very well known tactic in real estate by rental unit buyers and investors. They purchase a building where the people are paying lower rents, they make the living conditions there difficult for the tenants to bear, the tenants move out, the new owner does some upgrades to the apartments, and then they raise the rent roll for the building by bringing in younger, higher earning, less restricted renters who are capable of paying much higher rent. It is an unfair practice, but it is one that has become commonly used by the type of Buyer that purchases property for a very discounted price because of the low rent roll with the goal of doubling the rent roll in the first one or two years. I am dealing with such an honor right now who owns to rental buildings in Glendale Queens. He bought one on Myrtle Avenue between 66th street and 66th place, and this apartment had an elderly woman living on the first floor. She was 87 years old. The new owner stopped accepting her rent, told her he needed to do some work on the plumbing and had her without water for more than a week, and after not taking her rents for 2 months, he served her with eviction papers. This 87 year old woman who had lived in the same first floor apartment for 40 years, was forced out of her apartment. She had to move in with her grandchild in her first floor one bedroom apartment. It is sad to see that this happens so often. I lived in Williamsburg Brooklyn during the first stages of the gentrification process. My parents were forced out of the neighborhood by the rising rents. This was in 1999. By 2002, the rents head doubled in the area. Today they are five times what they were back in 1999, for half the space. The people who bought in that neighborhood took Apartment and split them in half and now get 5x the rent for half of the space. I am all for free enterprise, property growth, neighborhood improvement, and capital gains. But all of these things can be accomplished without hurting long-term residents of a neighborhood. All of these things can be accomplished without resorting to the tactics that some of these profit minded investors are using. I wish I had an easy solution to this issue but I do not. All I can suggest is that new property owners and investors try to use some honesty and integrity and their dealings with long term tenants. I would especially hope they will show some sensitivity to the elderly who live in the properties that they purchase. It is very difficult for an elderly person to start over when they are forcibly pushed out of the place they call home. Like I said before, I don't have an easy solution for this. I do welcome some suggestions. #glrosario
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George L. Rosario February 25, 2016 / 07:14AM
I dictated my original comment while driving. There are some typos, so here it is with some corrections: Ladies and gentleman, please do not allow the new owners to fool you. A spokesperson for Silvershore is quoted as saying, “We have requested certain tenants to permit us access to their apartments to make repairs and they have repeatedly denied us access." I can tell you that this is absolutely not true. My parents live in this building. I have friends who live in this building. When I used to do rentals, I personally found apartments for people in this building and some of them are still there. Other than the first time when Silvershore sent two young men to introduce themselves as the owner's representatives, no one else has made an attempt to come into this building to repair anything. The tenants have been complaining that their apartments are being overrun buy roaches and mice and nothing has been done. Faucets are leaking, paint is chipping, mold is growing inside closets and bathrooms and near the kitchen windows, the garbage is sometimes not removed for more than a week, the heat has been set in such a way that only the first and second floor apartments get heat, my sons and I shoveled the snow after this year's record-breaking snowfall because no one from the management or owners side came to do it, the long time elderly tenants in this building have taken it upon themselves to clean the hallways because no one else is doing it, some of the apartments have their ceilings falling piece by piece on top of the tenants, and we have repeatedly asked the owners to send help and all they have sent are the two representatives at the very beginning of their purchase. I have the first initial letter that these representatives gave out to every tenant. We have not seen them since. My mother is 72 years old. She does not want to move. She's very happy with her one bedroom, first floor apartment. At least she was very happy, up until this new owner completely abandoned the tenants and the needs of the building. My mother has been in this building since 2008. She does not want to move because at her age, she feels it would be strange to start somewhere else. Besides, the rents in Ridgewood have become so expensive that she would not be able to afford a one bedroom apartment on the first floor on her very limited budget. I am so upset with the current situation that I've asked her to move in with us, but she refuses to leave her apartment. She says there is no reason for anyone to kick her out of there because she has always paid her rent and has never been a problem for the landlord. You know what? She is right! Why should she move from the place where she has felt safe for so many years? But these new owners are not looking at this from the perspective of an elderly woman who does not want to start over again somewhere else. They are using a very well known tactic in real estate by rental unit buyers and investors. They purchase a building where the people are paying lower rents, they make the living conditions there difficult for the tenants to bear, the tenants move out, the new owners do some upgrades to the apartments, and then they raise the rent roll for the building by bringing in younger, higher earning, less restricted renters who are capable of paying much higher rent. It is an unfair practice, but it is one that has become commonly used by the type of instant-profit-minded buyer that purchases property for a very discounted price because of the low rent roll with the goal of doubling the rent roll in the first one or two years. I am dealing with such an owner right now. He owns two rental buildings in Glendale Queens. He bought one on Myrtle Avenue between 66th street and 66th place, and this property had an elderly woman living on the first floor. She was 87 years old. The new owner stopped accepting her rent, told her he needed to do some work on the plumbing, had her without water for more than a week, and after not taking her rents for 2 months, he told her he was raising her rent, and when she asked if he could please leave it as it was because she was only left with $45 of her social security check after paying the current rent, he decided it owuld be best if he served her with eviction papers. This 87 year old woman who had lived in the same first floor apartment for 40 years was forced out of her apartment. She had to move in with her grandchild into her first floor one bedroom apartment. It is sad to see that this happens so often. I lived in Williamsburg Brooklyn during the first stages of the gentrification process. My parents were forced out of the neighborhood by the rising rents. This was in 1999. By 2002, the rents head doubled in the area. Today they are five times what they were back in 1999, for half the space. The people who bought in that neighborhood split the apartments in half and now get 5x the rent for half of the space. I am all for free enterprise, property growth, neighborhood improvement, and capital gains. But all of these things can be accomplished without hurting long-term residents of a neighborhood. All of these things can be accomplished without resorting to the tactics that some of these profit minded investors are using. I wish I had an easy solution to this issue but I do not. All I can suggest is that new property owners and investors try to use some honesty and integrity and their dealings with long term tenants. I would especially hope they will show some sensitivity to the elderly who live in the properties that they purchase. It is very difficult for an elderly person to start over when they are forcibly pushed out of the place they call home. Like I said before, I don't have an easy solution for this. I do welcome some suggestions. #glrosario Ladies and gentleman, please do not allow the new owners to fool you. A spokesperson for Silvershore is quoted as saying, “We have requested certain tenants to permit us access to their apartments to make repairs and they have repeatedly denied us access." I can tell you that this is absolutely not true. My parents live in this building. I have friends who live in this building. When I used to do rentals, I personally found apartments for people in this building and some of them are still there. Other than the first time when Silvershore sent two young men to introduce themselves as the owner's representatives, no one else has made an attempt to come into this building to repair anything. The tenants have been complaining that their apartments are being overrun buy roaches and mice and nothing has been done. Faucets are leaking, paint is chipping, mold is growing inside closets and bathrooms and near the kitchen windows, the garbage is sometimes not removed for more than a week, the heat has been set in such a way that only the first and second floor apartments get heat, my sons and I shoveled the snow after this year's record-breaking snowfall because no one from the management or owners side came to do it, the long time elderly tenants in this building have taken it upon themselves to clean the hallways because no one else is doing it, some of the apartments have their ceilings falling piece by piece on top of the tenants, and we have repeatedly asked the owners to send help and all they have sent are the two representatives at the very beginning of their purchase. I have the first initial letter that these representatives gave out to every tenant. I remember speaking with them the day they passed by, and shaking their hands after they assured me that the new owner was not interested in making anyone move out of their apartments. I have to admit they were very convincing in their polite manners. I have not seen them since. My mother is 72 years old. She does not want to move. She's very happy with her one bedroom, first floor apartment. At least she was very happy, up until this new owner completely abandoned the tenants and the needs of the building. My mother has been in this building since 2008. She does not want to move because at her age, she feels it would be strange to start over somewhere else. Besides, the rents in Ridgewood have become so expensive in this area that she would not be able to afford a one bedroom apartment on the first floor on her very limited budget. I am so upset with the current situation that I've asked her to move in with us, but she refuses to leave her apartment. I live on a second floor walk-up which would not be good for her with her limited use of her legs. She says there is no reason for anyone to kick her out of her apartment because she has always paid her rent and has never been a problem for the landlord. You know what? She is right! Why should she move from the place where she has felt safe for so many years? But these new owners are not looking at this from the perspective of an elderly woman who does not want to start over again somewhere else. They are using a very well known tactic in real estate by rental property buyers and investors. They purchase a building where the people are paying lower rents so they get a great deal on the property. The new owners then make the living conditions there difficult for the tenants to bear, the tenants move out, the new owners do some upgrades to the apartments, and then they raise the rent roll for the building by bringing in younger, higher earning, less restricted renters who are capable of paying much higher rent. It is an unfair practice, but it is one that has become commonly used by the type of instant-profit-minded buyers that purchases property for a very discounted price because of the low rent roll with the goal of doubling the rent roll in the first one or two years. I am dealing with such an owner right now. He owns two rental buildings in Glendale Queens. He bought one on Myrtle Avenue between 66th Street and 66th Place, and the other on Myrtle Avenue between 67th Street and 67th Place. The property between 66th St and 66th Pl had an elderly woman living on the first floor studio apartment behind a beauty parlor. She was 87 years old. The new owner stopped accepting her rent, told her he needed to do some work on the plumbing, had her without water for more than a week, and after not taking her rents for 2 months, he told her he was raising her rent. When she asked if he could please leave it as it was because she was only left with $45 of her social security check after paying the current rent, he decided it would be best if he served her with eviction papers. This 87 year old woman who had lived in the same first floor apartment for 40 years was forced out of her apartment. She had to move in with her granddaughter into her first floor one bedroom apartment. It is sad to see that this happens so often. I lived in Williamsburg Brooklyn during the first stages of the gentrification process. My parents were forced out of the neighborhood by the rising rents. This was in 1999. By 2002, the rents head doubled in the area. Today they are five times what they were back in 1999, for half the space. The people who bought in that neighborhood split the apartments in half and now get 5x the rent for half of the space. I am all for free enterprise, property growth, neighborhood improvement, and capital gains. But all of these things can be accomplished without hurting long-term residents of a neighborhood. All of these things can be accomplished without resorting to the tactics that some of these profit minded investors are using. I wish I had an easy solution to this issue but I do not. All I can suggest is that new property owners and investors try to use some honesty and integrity in their dealings with long term residents. I would especially hope they will show some sensitivity to the elderly who live in the properties that they purchase. It is very difficult for an elderly person to start over when they are forcibly pushed out of the place they call home. I know that if my mother is forced out of her apartment by these new landlords, it will crush her spirit. She does not deserve this. Like I said before, I don't have an easy solution for this. I do welcome some suggestions. #glrosario


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Tillman February 24, 2016 / 03:15AM
Many incidents of gentrification and "re-development" occurring across the city in the past few years. Former mayor Bloomberg is known to be behind the current gentrifying of the Bronx and large areas of Harlem along with the Clintons. Of course, the pretentious Clintons grasp at any opportunity that will further and profit them, unconcerned for the citizenry as usual. The Clintons tried that gentrifying thing of Harlem some years back when they laughably moved in for awhile but got kicked out by the outraged Harlem residents who saw through their greedy motives. As for the shallow Bloomberg, he's simply paranoid and bored.
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Scooter February 23, 2016 / 11:54PM
I see a pattern here. Gentrification in it's earliest stages. Get rid of the low income latinos. Make some repairs, raise the rents, and have the hipsters come in.
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