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Towers of glower: Locals miffed as firm botches Ridge co-op applications

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Officials must extend the deadline to apply for an apartment in the Towers of Bay Ridge, because they sent out paperwork too late for people to actually fill out and return by the Dec. 23 deadline, locals are demanding.

Anyone interested in living in the co-ops had to request a sign-up form by Nov. 18 and had until Dec. 23 to mail the paperwork to the company running the twin monoliths’ housing lottery. But many did not receive their applications until just before the deadline, leaving them little time to sign on the dotted line and mail the forms back. The deadline was extended to Jan. 3, but that is not enough time for people traveling for the holidays, one applicant griped.

“They absolutely need to extend the deadline. What do they expect they gave almost no information and I can’t get a hold of anyone to figure out what’s going on,” said Bay Ridgite Jennifer Weisbrich, who received an application on Dec. 21 and had just two days to fill it out and mail it back. “I mean the fact that I’m contacting a newspaper to learn more information about a state processes is ridiculous. They should have more information available. A place to go to learn more. Someone available to speak to. Something. Anything.”

The Towers of Bay Ridge are part of the state-supervised Mitchell-Lama program, which provides below-market-rate rental and cooperative housing to middle-income families, but the agency that oversees the program — the office of Homes and Community Renewal — does not facilitate wait-list lotteries and instead has individual co-ops farm out lottery duties to third-party companies.

Long Island-based Election Services United Corporation is running the Towers’ lotto, and officials there did not return requests for comment.

But a rep from the company told state Sen. Diane Savino’s (D–Bay Ridge) office that workers mailed the applications in mid-November, according to a Savino rep who said her office has received complaints about the delays from across the city.

It’s unclear who bungled the process, a spokeswoman for the lawmaker said.

A honcho at Election Services United Corporation told Savino’s office that the company mailed the papers with ample time for applicants to return them, and claimed the postal service is to blame, but a supervisor at the Garden City post office where the applications were mailed from claimed it was not the branch’s fault.

Savino’s office continues to field complaints about the application process, and workers there are at their wits’ end, because neither the state nor Election Services United is making it easy to get to the bottom of things, one staffer said.

“At this point, I just want people to have the correct information, and I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t know if that’s possible because no one seems to know for sure what happened,” said Savino rep Shannon Watkins.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Ben Franklin from Philadelphia says:
The Election Services company is on Long Island and the applications were postmarked Trenton.
Dec. 29, 2016, 9:04 am
Keith from Bay Ridge says:
Its Dec 29th and still 6 out of the 7 people I requested applications for have not received them. Something is very fishy.
Dec. 29, 2016, 12:02 pm
Jjm from C. Hill says:
I sent for my app last month & i still havent gotten it.
Dec. 29, 2016, 6:01 pm
John from Park Slope says:
Thought I was the only one who never received the application back, but apparently not. Been over a month and still nothing. What a sham!
Dec. 30, 2016, 8:36 am
Ben Franklin from Philadelphia says:
Making the deadline two days before Christmas is ridiculous on the face of it -- people traveling, people busy and distracted, people needing their cash and most obviously it's the heaviest mailing season of the year.
Dec. 30, 2016, 10:03 am
Sam from Fort Greene says:
First of all, I do not trust any of these so-called below market application process and believe them to be manipulated by those in charge. Secondly, the USPS has either letters and packages or taken more than 3 weeks to deliver letters from another NYC borough. Who is to blame? the answer is likely to be both.
Dec. 31, 2016, 9:43 am
Keith from Bay Ridge says:
Its Dec 31st and still 6 out of the 7 people I requested applications for have not received them. If I were to receive the app today, how could I possibly have it mailed back to them by the deadline? Me and a few others are thinking about compiling a list of people who didnt receive the application for possible legal action against all parties involved in this process.
Dec. 31, 2016, 12:32 pm
yololol from Manhattan says:
It is weird process, I just received my return envelop and money order.
Jan. 23, 2017, 10:54 am
Joanne gillick from Brnerhurst says:
This is really a disgrace they should do it over with a different date for the applications to retired
April 28, 2017, 6:08 pm

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