Vantage Residential, in a partnership with the Community League of the Heights (C.L.O.T.H.) and Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), today announced it is providing new apartments for 20 of the families displaced from 552 Academy Street in Inwood.
At a press conference held on April 1stat Community League of the Heights on 500 West 159th Street, City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez joined Vantage, HPD and C.L.O.T.H. to announce this significant step in relocating these families and presented 20 families with keys to their new apartments.
“The tenants of 552 Academy worked together and stood up for their rights, and the many groups represented here today built upon that work, and have made the tenants dream a reality. While the city, through the hard work of the Council, the Department of HPD and the Borough President Stringer, rehabilitates the buildings, Vantage Properties has made sure that the tenants will have a place to live until they can return home. I would like to thank Vantage Properties and HPD, who helped me, along with other local elected officials, to help send the message that when tenants call out for help, their call won’t go unheard. Today is a great day for both the residents of 552 Academy and for tenants citywide” said NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.
“I stand with my fellow elected officials, as well as HPD and Vantage Properties today to show that New York City makes affordable housing a priority. These tenants went through tremendous hardship at 552 Academy as it literally crumbled beneath them. I am proud to join in the unity that all levels of government and the community showed in this effort, giving these tenants the real support that they needed” said NYS Senator Adriano Espaillat.
“The relocation of these tenants is a product of teamwork from so many different elements of the community. This is an example that other neighborhoods will be able to replicate in order to support affordable housing in their communities” saidYvonne Stennet, Executive Director of Community League of the Heights.
“There has been a tremendous effort on the part of everybody involved to not only figure out a plan that addresses the rehabilitation needs of this property, but to also ensure that the tenants are involved in the process and to see their concerns are heard and addressed. Today signals a new beginning. As the tenants settle into their apartments and gain some sense of stability, they can now look forward to the road ahead which ultimately leads back to safe new homes at 552 Academy Street. I thank Senator Espaillat, Assemblyman Linares, Councilman Rodriguez, and Borough President Stringer for their leadership, and I look forward to continuing our work together as this project progresses. I also would like to thank all of the property owners who have worked to find available space in their buildings so that these families can stay in the neighborhood they call home” said HPD Deputy Commissioner Anne-Marie Hendrickson.
“I’m happy to join with Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Senator Adriano Espaillat, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, city officials and community members to take note of some good news for the displaced tenants at 552 Academy Street: These residents were forced from their home because of nearly 1,000 building code violations, but 20 provisional units have now been provided by Vantage Properties while plans are developed for the building’s reconstruction. Although the tenants won’t be able to move back for up to two years, this is a hopeful beginning. We’re going to continue working together to ensure that all of these tenants can be restored to their homes in this community, as soon as possible” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer
“After being forced to leave their apartments, these families shouldn’t have to also leave their communities, and Vantage is pleased to help provide a safe and quality solution that keeps these families in the neighborhood,” said Neil Rubler, CEO, Vantage Properties.