Volume 17 • Issue 29 | Dec. 10 -16, 2004

Letters to the Editor

Village housing costs

To The Editor:
In regard to Al Amateau’s reference to West Village Houses in his article about Guild Houses (news article, Nov. 26 – Dec. 2, “Grand St. Guild tenants get Section 8 assurances”), the statement that “the owner … agreed …to allow tenants to buy the property at below market price” is misleading. The owners sold the property because the Tenants’ Association made the best offer and took an enormous political headache off the owners’ hands. There was no generosity on the owners’ part; Andrew Farkas is a businessman not a philanthropist.

The statement that the agreement “would keep housing costs affordable for all the residents” is also incorrect. The red herring for West Village Houses co-op conversion plan was released on Nov. 23. It shows that an average tenant will need an income of $80,000 or more to be able to buy their apartment. This is because the average monthly maintenance and mortgage costs approach $2,000 per month. In many instances, the larger apartments will cost tenants $300,000 and will require over $4,000 in monthly charges. Renters face immediate increases of 53 – 87 percent and continued increases thereafter. There are many tenants who cannot afford to stay in West Village Houses. Their vacated apartments will be sold at market rates.

This is not affordable housing for all. Nor is it a preservation of affordable housing. It is a phasing out of affordable housing with protection only for those residents who earn enough to stay.
Will Creed

Pork cuts both ways

To The Editor:
“Bacon or pork? Members of Congress bring it back Downtown” by Albert Amateau (news article, Dec. 3 - 9) missed the real price tag of these so called tasty treats.  Republicans who really believe in free enterprise, balanced budgets and a reduction in the size of government at all levels — local, state and federal — have been concerned over the past four years about the spending habits of Congress. President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress have failed to control both spending and deficits. He has failed to veto any of the pork-laden spending bills sent to him by Congress.  Both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans have given up balancing the budget. Except for Senator John McCain and a few others, everyone else believes the best way to grease the wheels of reelection is to load up on billions in pork barrel projects.   Democrats and Republicans have morphed into one Washington inside-the-Beltway party dedicated to staying in power regardless of the cost to taxpayers. Their philosophy is to increase spending above the rate of inflation.   Liberals won’t say no to social welfare programs.   Conservatives love any defense spending. Both support corporate welfare subsidies. They are leaving the next generation an inheritance of government debt in the trillions of dollars.  

It appears that Republicans are more concerned about how to stay in the majority rather than balancing the budget.  How ironic that after winning the Cold War against the Evil Empire of Communism, it may be mismanagement of our economy that defeats us in the end.  Congress needs to start working to solve our problems today.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, N.Y.

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