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A group of lawmakers want the city to answer for what they called egregious parking mismanagement at Pomonok Houses that is driving residents crazy.
The city Housing Authority converted free lots at the housing complex, located at 67-10 Parsons Blvd., into paid spaces and turned over management in March to a private company called Greystone Parking Services.
But since then hundreds of residents have complained of months-long waits for permits, multiple cars being assigned to the same spot and general unresponsiveness by the city and the contractor, the elected officials said.
In addition, NYCHA reduced 70 spaces formerly reserved for the Pomonok Community Center, used by at least 50 senior citizens daily for meals and social activities, to just 10 spots. It is unclear what the other 60 spots will be used for.
“The new parking fees at the Pomonok Community Center are outrageous and unacceptable, and NYCHA must repeal them immediately,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing). “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.”
Meng was joined by state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone), state Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (D-Electchester) and residents in denouncing the new parking fee structure.
The trio sent a letter to the city in March, according to Stavisky, but has heard nothing back.
“We’re here to tell them that they can’t ignore the residents of Pomonok and the senior citizens who use the neighborhood center,” she said. “These issues must be resolved.”
Greystone, which handles parking in the Tri-state area, referred requests for comment to NYCHA.
In response to the news conference, NYCHA issued a statement saying it is in the process of bringing all previously non-paid lots across the city under a fee structure. The revenues and permits will raise cash to maintain cleaner lots, and ensure that only housing residents are using the spaces.
As for the spaces outside the community center, the authority said they were discussed prior to the conversion.
“NYCHA met with both the community center management and elected officials to discuss these changes and the need for parking spaces. The 10 parking spaces assigned to the center in the resident parking lot were agreed upon by all involved parties and are paid for by the community center, which received a discounted rate,” the agency said.
As to the allegations of gross mismanagement, the authority said it “will continue to work with residents, elected officials and all stakeholders, as well as with Greystone, to improve customer service.
But that did not sit well with Monica Corbett.
“The nearest senior center is not close nor is there an after-school center that serves children from K-5,” she said in a statement. “To ask staff and participants to pay for parking is asinine. NYCHA staff receive free parking. Why shouldn’t [the neighborhood center] be afforded the same?”
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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