SUNNYSIDE, N.Y. – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris called on the CEO of Phipps Houses to do a better job maintaining and repairing their Phipps Garden Apartments in Sunnyside. While visiting with tenants on location on 39th Avenue, Senator Gianaris witnessed infestations of bugs and vermin, as well as mold resulting from water damage, and general failure to upkeep the property.
“These tenants deserve a better quality of life, and we must hold their corporate landlords accountable for failing to deliver,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “Phipps Houses must respond to the needs of their Sunnyside tenants and clean up this property.”According to JustFix.Nyc, a housing-advocacy data aggregator, this property has dozens of open violations with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Phipps Houses’ full portfolio of properties has received nearly 6,000 violations across the city. Phipps Garden Apartments has 472 mostly rent stabilized units.
Phipps is currently seeking approval for the construction of a large affordable housing development on a neighboring parcel in Sunnyside. Senator Gianaris pointed out this approval would be troubling without greater confidence that maintenance would be handled better.
Photos from Senator Gianaris tour are available here.
Senator Gianaris’ full letter to Weinstein appears below.
November 30, 2020
Adam Weinstein, Phipps Houses Services, Inc.
902 Broadway, 13th Floor
New York, New York 10010
Dear Mr. Weinstein,
I write with serious concerns about the condition of Phipps Garden Apartments on 39th Avenue in Sunnyside. Tenants have contacted me numerous times about the lack of routine maintenance at the property. After personally visiting the building and meeting with tenants this past week, I must agree that conditions at this property are uninhabitable for hundreds of rent-paying tenants who live there.
Upon my visit, I was greeted by residents who shared evidence of problems associated with inattention and lack of adequate maintenance staff. I witnessed vermin, bedbug, and roach infestations, water damage leading to mold, and residents forced to clean and maintain common spaces themselves. Their complaints are well founded, and the result is unacceptable.
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development affirms these concerns since, according to JustFix.Nyc, you have dozens of outstanding violations for this property and hundreds that you have received over time. This is an abysmal record that requires immediate rectification.
Your rent-paying tenants deserve better. The fact that you are currently asking for approval to expand your development onto a neighboring parcel is troubling if we can expect this record to be repeated at the new location. I ask you to do your job and ensure all your current and future tenants receive the quality housing they deserve
Senator Michael Gianaris
Deputy Majority Leader