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June 2009 E-Newsletter

Rent Guidelines Board Hearing on June 17th:

The Cooper Square Committee joined with other tenants rights organizations and Council members Tony Avella, Dan Garodnick, and Robert Jackson at a noon press conference on 6/17 in front of the Great Hall at Cooper Union to call for a “Rent Freeze” this year. Last year the Rent Guidelines Board passed an 8.5% increase for 2-year leases. On Wednesday, Cooper Square Committee presented testimony arguing that with unemployment rising and market rate rents dropping, and signs of deflation everywhere, rent stabilized tenants deserve a rent freeze this year! Come to the Rent Guidelines Board vote on Tuesday June 23rd at 6 pm (Great Hall at Cooper Union, E. 7th St. and 3rd Avenue).


3rd Avenue Festival:

The Cooper Square Committee is holding our 17th annual 3rd Avenue festival this Saturday, June 20th from 11 am to 6 pm. Due to the weather forecast we won’t be having live music, but if the weather holds up, feel free stop by our table at E. 9th St. and 3rd Avenue.


We are also participating in Fourth Arts Block’s Saturday block parties this month. The next block party will be in celebration of Gay Pride weekend, Saturday, June 27th from 3 pm to 7 pm. Come visit East 4th Street that day for live music and performances.

 

10 Stanton St

: The Cooper Square Committee and tenant leaders of 10 Stanton Street met with the attorney for the building owner, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Senator Dan Squadron on Friday, June 5th to get a commitment from the owner that the building’s Section 8 contract will be renewed when it expires one year from now. The attorney said he expected the owner to renew for 5 years. We will be working with the tenants and our elected officials to get that commitment in writing in the coming months. The owner has also retained engineers who will be recommending building-wide capital improvements.


Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA):

Cooper Square Committee continues to participate in CB 3’s monthly Zoning and Economic Development Committee meetings, and we have advocated for inclusion of stronger affordable housing provisions in the set of planning principles that the Community Board will be adopting this year for the SPURA sites.

 

Strategic Plan:

Cooper Square Committee completed a Community Needs Assessment and 3-Year Strategic Plan in early June. It will be up on our newly revised website in the coming weeks.

 

50th Anniversary Gala:

The Cooper Square Committee will be holding our 50th Anniversary Gala on October 22nd. Invites will be going out soon. Please save the date!

 

Funding Update

: The Cooper Square Committee has been awarded $89,000 by the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal for the new fiscal year to continue providing our tenant services and carry out our community development work. We have also recently received a $17,000 funding award from the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development for our housing preservation work.

 

Lease signed with Fourth Arts Block:

Cooper Square Committee has signed a 3-year lease with our tenant, Fourth Arts Block (FAB), which is renting our front office space, and partnering with us on streetscape and façade improvements for nearly a dozen theaters on the block. These improvements are being carried out with the financial support of the NYS Housing Trust Fund, Borough President Scott Stringer, Councilperson Rosie Mendez and the JM Kaplan Fund. FAB has also recently opened a discount ticket window at our newly renovated storefront at 61 East 4th Street (Fridays only), so come see a live show on East 4th Street one weekend this Summer for less than $12.