Frustration as Knickerbocker Village Still Without Heat or Power

Posted on: November 10th, 2012 at 9:22 am by

While much of the Lower East Side is with power and starting to pick up the proverbial pieces, three large Manhattan housing complexes remain in the dark. Inclusive is Knickerbocker Village, which is already nearing two weeks without electricity, heat, or hot water. A resident tells us that there’s little to no support from building management, only the “pay your rent” announcement, and that complaints are falling on deaf ears. Their plight is barely on the local radar, and the desperation is palpable. A sign reads:

  • It is important that all tenants in KV Inc. report your complains/concerns regarding no heat, hot water, or electricity in your apartment to 311.
  • As tenants of KV Inc. we are concerned about the health and saftey of the tenants, especially the elderly. As well as no communication from management.

The feelings of frustration paved the way for a tenants meeting today to address these serious issues.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has a bit more on the post-Sandy drama in an article published in the paper today. Here are some excerpts:

On Wednesday night…a FEMA official urged city authorities to provide alternate accommodations to the residents of Knickerbocker Village, where about 700 seniors had been living without heat since the hurricane.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Friday that his main focus was on helping tens of thousands of people — about half of whom live in public housing — get power back.

As of Friday afternoon, more than 1,000 older people remained in three large Manhattan complexes that lacked services including heat, water or electricity, according to the office of Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president. There were probably many smaller buildings in similar conditions, Mr. Stringer’s office added.

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  • KatMan

    The lack of response from the owners/managers of KV saddens me. I grew up there – from 1944 until about 1964. I know there is great change in the complexion of KV. When I grew up there was only one Chinese family living there. The lack of care for residents, apparently, is another change. What a shame — about the latter). KatMan formerly of GA3 and FF7. katmanness@att.net

    • Guest

      It is really disgusting what is going on in kv. I am also a long resident of the f building as was my mother and grandparents also of the 7th floor. And as it seems now they are putting generators to power only the hallways and lobbies, so as to when the power will be up and running to all apts,that is a good question. But as I have known for as long as I can remember ,believe half of what you see and none of what you hear, so we will see what is to come next.

  • Anon

    I just wish the power is back already! I use a CPAP machine and haven’t been able to use it for 2 straight weeks already! Lack of oxygen going to my brain is not a good thing. I would purchase a CPAP backup battery, but it costs over 600 dollars and insurance doesn’t cover it. If I can afford that, I wouldn’t be living at KV.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TVersella Thomas Versella

    Thousands of Knickerbocker Village residents in Chinatown are
    still without electricity, heat, hot water, internet and other vital services.
    This complex is not public housing. Angry residents charge that the building’s owners and managers have been negligent in their response to hurricane Sandy, and also callous and indifferent to suffering residents. Especially insulting is the pandering and condescending way in which management and owners treat the Chinese speaking tenants.

    One dismayed tenant said “The day after Sandy, a couple of guys wearing sweatpants arrived with a van and a few small pumps. They worked for a few hours in one area, then disconnected the pump and went to another spot. It was a joke! It was obvious management wanted to save money. As of today, there is still only one functioning pump. The slow pump out allowed sea water to cause further damage to the building’s electrical and mechanical systems.

    Garbage was piled up in front of buildings up until a few days ago. Management made no effort to communicate with residents until over a week after the storm. Confused security guards had no information from Owners or Management to give anxious residents. Volunteers with badly needed supplies were turned away the first few days and told to vacate the premises. One management official was overheard telling tenants that they should be grateful for the money spent on folding tables for a “warming room” set up over a week after the hurricane.

    Another resident complained that Vincent Callagy, General Manager at Knickerbocker, called the police to harass a tenant who was taking photos of the devastation. James Simmons, Vice-President of a “shadowy group of owners”, has not been seen. Residents want an inquiry into the business practices of the owners. High powered lawyers in expensive suits have been seen entering and leaving the building management’s office.

    Residents are also frustrated with managements inability and
    indifference towards using emails or texts to communicate information to
    residents, staff and relief agencies. FEMA and other aid organizations have
    stepped in to fill the lack of communication by Owners. As of today, Owners and
    Management have not given tenants an idea of when power will be restored.
    Instead, they say “we are all in this together”, “it’s an old building” and” it
    was a big storm”. These excuses aren’t enough for suffering families and
    elderly people who feel Owners had ample time to instruct management to make
    basic, intelligent preparations. But they didn’t want to spend the money.