For years now, Trinity Prep School (founded by but no longer related to Trinity Church downtown) on the Upper West Side has been trying to figure out how to raise the rents at the low-income apartment building it owns, the Trinity House. The 200-unit building at 100 West 92nd Street was built in 1969 with public funds under the Mitchell-Lama program, and currently, one-bedrooms average about $600/month. Now DNAinfo reports that the school's private corporation wants to raise rents by 41 percent over the next three years, with a 32 percent raise happening by next year. Trinity Housing Company applied for the increase with the Housing and Preservation Department, arguing that it's long overdue and necessary to beef up the school's $40 million endowment. That paltry sum, apparently, put the school "in the bottom third compared to its peers."
At a meeting last night, tenants, many of whom work in the public sector or are retired, acknowledged the need for an increase, but were incensed at the rate Trinity wanted it to occur. The tenants' frustration was echoed by local officials, who said that Trinity's application to HPD was "riddled with mistakes, misinformation and errors" making it "impossible to fairly evaluate." DNAinfo noted that one major miscalculation was Trinity's assumption that the Trinity House would have a significant number of vacant units in the future. A written testimony by Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal dismissed this, noting that the lengthy waiting lists for all affordable housing, particularly Mitchell-Lama, make it "inconceivable that there would be any vacancy." HPD will take several months to review the application before making a decision.
· Trinity Prep School Seeks 41 Percent Rent Hike for Low-Income Tenants [DNAinfo]
· Trinity House coverage [Curbed]