Meng, Stavisky, Simanowitz Condemn Outrageous Fees and Poor Service from Parking Contractor Greystone

August 22, 2013

Meng, Stavisky, Simanowitz Condemn Outrageous Fees and Poor Service from Parking Contractor Greystone

Flushing, NY—Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Queens,) Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (D-Kew Garden Hills) spoke out today against months of egregious parking mismanagement at Pomonok Houses by Greystone, a new contractor.

Since taking over parking management from NYCHA in March, Greystone has incited hundreds of complaints from residents including reports of months-long waits for parking permits, multiple cars being assigned to the same spot and a lack of responsiveness by Greystone and NYCHA to questions and complaints.

In addition, Greystone has hiked parking fees around the complex and begun charging for access to a previously free lot in front of the Pomonok Community Center. The Center, which provides meals, social activities and emergency resources like as a cooling station during dangerously hot weather, is now being billed $272 per spot for use of just 10 spots—a fraction of the 70-space lot outside of the Center—and not nearly enough to serve the over 50 senior citizens who visit the Center every day.

After meeting with NYCHA representatives, Congresswoman Meng, Senator Stavisky and Assemblyman Simanowitz have determined that the fees and appalling service are unjust, unfair and places undue burden on Pomonok residents and senior citizens.

“The new parking fees at the Pomonok Community Center are outrageous and unacceptable, and NYCHA must repeal them immediately,” U.S. Rep. Grace Meng. “Allowing a private company to profit off the backs of local residents and seniors is unconscionable, and the horrendous mismanagement that has caused nothing but more frustration adds insult to injury. This new parking system is a disaster. It’s a complete mess, and NYCHA must fix it now."

“It’s unconscionable that NYCHA and Greystone are extorting money from senior citizens who are coming to the Center to receive basic services such as meals. Charging for use of this lot, the terrible service and the high fees all point to a very serious pattern of mismanagement and neglect by Greystone and NYCHA. Congresswoman Meng, Assemblyman Simanowitz and I sent a letter to NYCHA in March detailing these problems and we have yet to receive a response. We’re here to tell them that they can’t ignore the residents of Pomonok and the senior citizens who use the Neighborhood Center. These issues must be resolved,” said Senator Stavisky.

“I have made it very clear to NYCHA representatives that the new parking policy was not well thought out and implemented very badly.” said Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz.  “My office is still getting complaints from Pomonok residents who are experiencing a multitude of problems with their permits which they now pay a premium for.  As for the Center’s parking lot, it is never full either during the day or at night.  The current policy is extremely shortsighted and threatens the operation of the Center.  What is clear is that there must be more accountability from Greystone to correct all these issues.”

“For the many members of our community who use Pomonok Community Center, parking is a necessity, not a luxury. For Greystone to set these exorbitant parking fees at a community facility is ridiculous, and an insult to the senior citizens and parents of young children who come to this center for basic services,” said Council Member James F. Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows). “I call on NYCHA to address the concerns of the community and roll back these new fees and take steps to improve service at this incredibly important facility.”

“The enforcement of the new parking policy is appalling. NYCHA did not do their due diligence in this process. Yes, the policy and rates have been on-going in other developments but what works in one development doesn't work in all. The Pomonok Neighborhood Center is a business. PNC serves the community not just Pomonok residents. The nearest senior center is not close nor is there an after-school center that serves children from K-5 grade. To ask staff and participants to pay for parking is asinine. NYCHA staff receive free parking why shouldn't PNC  be afforded the same. Day in and day out the seniors and staff have to fight with Queens College faculty and students and the teachers from PS 201. If NYCHA would of communicated effectively with the leaders, residents and the other stockholders that makes NYCHA what it is we would not have this issue,” said Monica Corbett, President of the Pomonok Resident Association.