Pols Line up Behind Legislation Aimed at Preventing Another Rivington House

Posted on: May 26th, 2016 at 5:12 am by
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As the Rivington House scandal continues to snowball and affect Mayor de Blasio’s footing, local politicians are now lining up to prevent the next such boondoggle from happening.

Councilwoman Margaret Chin, alongside Borough President Gale Brewer, introduced new legislation yesterday that would reform the city’s practices concerning deed restrictions. The process – namely, a deed lifting – is at the heart of the $116 million sale of the former HIV/AIDS home into upper crust condos.

From the press release:

The Brewer-Chin bill would create a public, searchable database of all properties with deed restrictions imposed by or on behalf of city, and would dramatically strengthen public notification requirements whenever the city considers changing or removing such a deed restriction. The bill will be introduced at [yesterday’s] Stated Council Meeting with the support of Councilmembers Rosie Mendez, Mark Levine, Brad Lander, and Ben Kallos as cosponsors.

“I will not stop fighting to restore Rivington House to the Lower East Side community that welcomed, fostered and preserved it. Together with Borough President Brewer and concerned neighbors, we will continue to demand answers from this administration about how our city failed to protect this incredibly important community asset,” said Councilmember Margaret Chin. “This legislation may not be able to change what happened at Rivington House, but it will ensure that what happened here does not occur ever again – not to this or any other community. I thank my elected colleagues on this legislation for their commitment to transparency and accountability.”

What’s interesting about this announcement, and other media events like it, is that Chin reportedly possessed advance knowledge of the Rivington House deal but allegedly didn’t tell Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito.  Capital New York reported in April that Mark-Viverito was “not informed by Councilwoman Margaret Chin, who represents the district where the Rivington House is located, about the matter, despite Chin’s apparent knowledge of the issue well before it was reported in the press.”

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