The view down Simpson Street where 960 Simpson Street (right) and 975 Simpson Street (left) is across from each other. Kent M. Wilhelm Today at 1:15 PM

Board 2: Loitering in Longwood buildings must be addressed

Longwood residents say they are frustrated with police and a building management company for not clamping down on loiterers and troublemakers. At a meeting of Community Board 2 in Longwood on Jan. 28, former Housing Committee Chair Joyce Campbell-Culler said that visitors coming to 975 Simpson Street from a new building across the street are wreaking havoc in that and neighboring buildings. The landlord and management company of 960 Simpson Street, Manhattan-based Property Resource Corp., has not taken responsibility or acted to get loiterers out of the building, said Campbell-Culler. 

Another Board 2 member, Edwin Martinez, told an NYPD officer representing the 41st Precinct that police have failed to respond to tenant and neighbor complaints about non-residents malingering in hallways and stairwells in a building at 881 Rev. James A. Polite Ave., creating a dangerous and noisy environment in Unique People Services, a supportive housing complex that opened in 2017. Forty-two of that building’s 69 units are set aside for individuals with a mental illness or those who were formerly homeless.

In another housing-related topic, board members noted that New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer unveiled his affordable housing plan which, if passed, would require that 25% of apartments in new developments be set aside for low and very-low income tenants.

Some worried, however that the increase in the number of tenants who would be eligible for housing in Longwood under the plan would mean that local residents will be left out. However, Board 2 Chair Roberto Crespo tried to reassure them that the first 50% of all available apartments in new buildings will be set aside for residents of the district.

The state of the environment was also addressed, when a representative from the city’s sanitation department distributed orange, reusable grocery bags as a reminder that the New York Bag Waste Reduction Law will go into effect on March 1.

The law will require that stores no longer provide plastic bags. Customers will instead have to bring their own reusable bags or pay a nickel each for paper carryout bags provided by the store.