Cahill Sponsors Senior Forum

February 27, 2004

Assemblymember Kevin Cahill, (D-Ulster, Dutchess) hosted a meeting Thursday afternoon, February 26, 2004 at the Chambers Elementary School in Kingston for the benefit of residents of the Seven Greens apartments on Lawrenceville Street in Kingston, a complex that contains 125 apartments specifically for senior citizens. The purpose of this forum was to share information regarding the process by which the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) reviews and acts on proposals by management to increase rents.

Ellen Irizarry, Senior Housing Management Representative for the DHCR, traveled from her Manhattan office to speak to the crowd, answer their questions and address their timely concerns surrounding the application submitted by the management of Seven Greens for approval of a substantial rent increase.

"Late last year, I received several telephone calls from residents of Seven Greens about this upcoming action by management. In response to their requests for advice on the process, public comment opportunities, tenantsí rights and other related issues, I felt it was important to provide accurate information," Assemblymember Cahill stated. "The Division of Housing and Community Renewal was quick to respond to my suggestion of a forum to inform and educate residents, thus empowering them to follow the process and formally register their comments and opinions with confidence."

Chambers School Principal Anna Brett, always one to rise to the occasion, instantly agreed to open the doors of her school after-hours for the gathering. Likewise, Cynthia Ruiz, Director of Ulster County Area Transit, expressed immediate support for the event and provided complimentary transportation for seniors from Seven Greens to the school.

After an hour of discussion, the handing out of information packets and a lively question and answer period, attendees were treated by Assemblymember Cahill to a deli-style dinner and dessert. "This is something that had to be done and this was a good time to do it," stated Fred Schabot, who attended with his wife Helen. "I am hopeful that we can now work towards organizing a tenant group with this good information and thank Mr. Cahill for this worthwhile community meeting."

Thanks to the efforts of local college student and accomplished videographer Mark Halwick, a videotape of this event will soon be available for interested parties to view, in addition to future airing on area cable access channels. Anyone wishing to obtain a copy of this or the literature provided by DHCR can phone Assemblymember Cahillís District Office at (845) 338-9610.