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Police Say Death Was Murder, Not Suicide

February 20, 2009

333 E.181st St.A woman who fell to her to death from the 18th floor of a South Fordham high-rise on Jan. 20 didn’t jump – she was pushed.

At the time, the authorities thought Carol Maxwell, 48, may have committed suicide. That’s now been ruled out, according to the police and the city medical examiner’s office. The death officially became a homicide last week.

Police believe a local man, Shevar Hall (aka “Buck”), pushed or forced Maxwell out of a window in the apartment she shared with her two young daughters at 333 W. 181st St. She fell 200-feet and was pronounced dead at the scene a little after 2 a.m.

Hall, 37, is said to have known Maxwell, but they weren’t romantically involved. Police haven’t established a motive. It’s not known if anyone else was in the apartment at the time.

A friend of Maxwell’s, standing on the street outside the 19-story building on Wednesday, described Maxwell as a “beautiful person” who was “friendly, sociable, and always had a smile on her face.”

“I know she didn’t commit suicide,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified. “She loved her two little girls [too much]. They were her life. She wouldn’t kill herself.”

She said Maxwell’s two girls have gone to stay with their father who lives elsewhere in the Bronx.

Hall, who has prior convictions for assault and robbery, has yet to be caught. 

UPDATE: Police say Hall was arrested on March 19.  He’s been charged with Maxwell’s murder.  Another man, Gerard Hopkins, who lived in the same building as Maxwell, has been charged with hindering the prosecution.  

By JAMES FERGUSSON

A Quarter of Bronx Schools Are Without Gyms; Educators Seek New Ways to Put Physical Education on the Menu

February 18, 2009

En Español

By JAMES FERGUSSON

Last summer, Inside Schools, an organization that reviews the city’s public schools, described PS 226 in the Bronx as “cheery” and “calm” with “colorful artwork and student writing lining the pastel-colored hallways.”

But the 450-student elementary school, located on Sedgwick Avenue in University Heights, also has its downsides. Many teachers are inexperienced due to high staff turnover, and students don’t have a gymnasium to run around in, play sports, and otherwise let off steam.

In the Bronx, PS 226 is far from alone. In fact, 23 percent of the borough’s public schools are without a gym, according to a report released last May by Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr.

Thinking Outside the Box

Worried about students’ health – 42 percent of Bronx kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are overweight or obese – some schools are taking matters into their own hands.

playground

At PS 226, teachers have launched a gymnasium fund. They hope to raise $3 to $4 million privately, so that they can build a gym in the school’s playground. So far, they’ve held several fund-raisers – including a celebrity golf tournament in Los Angeles – and raised about $1 million, which includes a $500,000 commitment from Bronx Council Member Maria Baez.  Health teacher Robert Romano, whose brother is actor Ray Romano of “Everyone Loves Raymond” fame, is leading the effort.

Most inner city schools don’t have such well-connected staff. Take CIS 204, an elementary school on 174th Street in Morris Heights. The school looks impressive – it’s located in a former synagogue, a throwback to 50 years ago when the neighborhood was largely Jewish. But overcrowding is a major issue, and there is no recreational space, inside or out. 

During recess, students make do with a stretch of cordoned off street, weather permitting. Or they play in nearby Half-Nelson Playground. It’s a situation that’s far from ideal. Crime is high in this part of the Bronx, and in 2005 an annual basketball competition held in the playground was cancelled indefinitely because gang members from the Bloods, Crips, and Latin Kings kept showing up, according to the organizer, Tyrone Brown.

Other schools have enlisted the help of outside organizations, such as The Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF), a non-profit based in Queens, which has received funding from the City Council to connect schools with nearby – and often underutilized – community centers. 

Gym

In the 2007-08 school year, the program served 2,000 students from 40 schools in Brooklyn and Queens. And in December, two Bronx schools – PS 168 on Morris Avenue and PS 754 on Jackson Avenue – enrolled. Students are bused to Bronxdale Community Center on Rosedale Avenue in Soundview, where they play basketball and other sports in what is a state of the art gymnasium.

“These facilities are not used between the hours of 9 and 3:30 when kids are at school and parents are at work,” said George Greenfield, an instruction supervisor for SASF. “They’re empty. That’s the gist of our program, to get kids in there.”

This year, another seven Bronx schools have signed on.  Like PS 168 and PS 754, all are part of District 75, a citywide district that caters to students with special needs. (Often, District 75 schools are particularly squeezed for space, said Greenfield, because many are located in – and thus share facilities with – larger schools.)

Jesse Mojica, Carrión’s director of education and youth, calls the program “extremely interesting.”

“We have to explore innovative ideas like this one… so that physical education isn’t compromised in the interim as we fight this battle [for new gyms]” he said.

Carrión’s Demands

To gather data for the report, Carrión’s office e-mailed a survey to the Bronx’s 363 public schools. In all, 209 schools responded – 49 of whom reported having no gymnasium. Many said they use a multi-purpose room instead, such as a cafeteria.

The problem isn’t unique to the Bronx. Citywide, 18 percent of schools are in the same position, according to a 2003 study by the City Council’s Education Committee. Mojica says it’s an issue “that’s been in existence for decades and decades,” due to miserly funding and the city’s failure to appreciate the positive impact exercise has on children’s health and their performance in the classroom.

Other findings from Carrión’s report included: 22 percent of Bronx public schools don’t have outdoor physical education facilities, such as playgrounds; more than 90 percent of elementary schools and 49 percent of secondary schools don’t provide enough physical education hours to meet New York State requirements; and 21 percent of schools don’t have a certified physical education teacher on staff.

Carrión’s report, titled “More than Child’s Play: The Need for Improved Physical Education Policy and Infrastructure in Bronx Public Schools,” carried a series of recommendations for the DOE, such as allocating funds in the 2010-2014 Capital Plan to build gyms for schools that don’t have them; hiring certified education teachers for all schools; and ensuring all schools are meeting the hourly requirements for physical education as mandated by the State.

“The DOE has both a legal and a moral obligation to ensure that students have access to sufficient physical education programs and facilities,” Carrion said in his report. “In order to assure a healthy future for our youth, the DOE must take a proactive role in addressing the lack of adequate physical education in our public schools.”

Marge Feinberg, a DOE spokesperson, said the department has read Carrion’s report, but refused to commit the DOE to any of its recommendations.

“We share Borough President Carrión’s concerns,” she said in an e-mail, “and that’s why we have worked hard over the past five years to improve physical education in New York City schools and give more students access to high quality programs.”

Feinberg said $232 million of the 2005-09 Capital Plan is being spent on upgrades to gyms, swimming pools, and playgrounds, and that “we are continuing this work in the next Capital Plan.”

Still, she admits that the “economic picture is bleak right now.”

Jumping Out of Their Skins

Mojica says the DOE “has been a willing partner in listening to us,” and that a number of Carrión’s recommendations popped up in the draft of the 2010-2014 Capital Plan the DOE released in November (and updated in February). But most of the $215 million put aside for “physical fitness upgrades” will mostly be spent on just that: upgrades to existing facilities, not the building of new gymnasiums.

“There are concerns,” Mojita said.

Romano, PS 226′s health teacher, says the DOE hasn’t given his school any cause for hope. “They haven’t said anything,” he said. “We’re not top of their priority list.”  PS 226, like CIS 204 in Morris Heights, doesn’t make an appearance in the DOE’s 185-page draft.

Romano called the fact that his school doesn’t have a gym “insane.”

“The lack of it really affects these kids, both emotionally and mentally, and physically,” Romano said. “They have all this energy, and it translates into a lack of focus, because [in the classroom] they’re jumping out of their skins.”

 (Video by Crazy Duck Productions)

Naturally enough, he continued, parents are wary about letting their children play outside in a neighborhood that is rife with drugs and gangs. Instead, they prefer them to watch television and play video games, he said. Subsequently, many local kids never get run around – let alone play sports.

To help raise money for the new gym, teachers at PS 226 had a video made (see above), which they plan to show to potential funders. In it students, parents, and teachers explain how the facility would benefit the school as well as local residents, who will be able to use it in the evenings and at weekends.

Says one local dad in the video: “I think it’s a shame that we have criminals in jail that under laws have to have a gym, but our kids don’t get [one].”

Editor’s Note: This article was written as part of an education reporting fellowship granted by New York Community Media Alliance.

Un Cuarto de las Escuelas del Bronx No Tienen un Gimnasio; Maestros Explorar Formas de Incorporar Educación Física en el Menú

February 18, 2009

In English

El pasado verano, “Inside Schools” una organización que evalúa las escuelas públicas de la ciudad describió la PS 226 en el Bronx como un lugar “alegre” y “calmado” con “coloridos trabajos de arte y trabajo de los estudiantes que adornan los pasillos”.

Pero la escuela primaria de 450 estudiantes, ubicada en la avenida Sedgwick en University Heights tiene sus puntos débiles también. Muchos maestros no tienen mucha experiencia debido a los constantes cambios de personal y los estudiantes no tienen un gimnasio donde puedan jugar, practicar deporte o simplemente donde puedan sudar un poco.

Y en el Bronx la P 226 no es la única. De hecho el 23 por ciento de las escuelas públicas del Bronx no tienen un gimnasio de acuerdo a un informe hecho público el pasado mes de mayo por el presidente del Bronx, Adolfo Carrión Jr.

PENSANDO CON CREATIVIDAD

Preocupados por la salud de sus estudiantes – el 42 por ciento de los niños del Bronx en el kínder hasta el quinto grado tienen sobre peso o son obesos – algunas escuelas han tenido que tomar cartas en el asunto.

En la PS 226 los maestros han organizado un fondo de gimnasio. Esperan recaudar entre $3 o $4 millones para la construcción de un gimnasio en la escuela. Hasta la fecha han realizado varios eventos de recaudación de fondos, incluyendo un torneo de golf para celebridades en Los Ángeles y han recaudado aproximadamente $1 millón, incluyendo $500,000 que han sido prometidos por la concejal María Báez. Roberto Romano, maestro de salud, hermano del actor Ray Romano de “Todo el Mundo Ama a Ray” es uno de los líderes del esfuerzo.

La mayoría de las escuelas de la ciudad no tienen empleados con dichas conexiones. Por ejemplo la CIS 204, una escuela primaria en la calle 174 en Morris Heights. La escuela se ve impresionante, está ubicada en donde solía estar una sinagoga, un edificio de más de 50 años cuando la comunidad solía ser mayoritariamente judía. Pero la sobrepoblación escolar es un problema grande y no hay espacio para recreación, ni adentro ni afuera.

Durante el receso los estudiantes aprovechan un espacio de calle que se ha cerrado para jugar, si el clima lo permite. O a veces juegan en el patio de recreo Half-Nelson. Es una situación poco ideal. El crimen es una constante en esta parte del Bronx. En el 2005 una competencia de basquetbol que se desarrollaba en las canchas fue cancelada de manera indefinida debido a la presencia de pandilleros de los “Bloods”, “Crips” and “Latin Kings” según Tyrone Brown, uno de los organizadores.

Otras escuelas han buscado la ayuda de organizaciones como la Fundación de Deportes y Artes en las Escuelas (SASF), una organización sin fines de lucro ubicada en Queens, la cual ha recibido financiamiento del Concejo de la Ciudad para conectar a las escuelas con centros comunitarios.

Durante el año escolar 2007-2008 el programa atendió 2,000 estudiantes de 40 escuelas en Brooklyn y en Queens. Y en diciembre se enrolaron dos escuelas del Bronx, la PS 168 en la avenida Morris y la PS 754 en la avenida Jackson. Los estudiantes son llevados en buses hasta el Centro Comunitario de Bronxdale en la avenida Rosedale en Soundview, donde juegan basquetbol y otros deportes en un gimnasio de primera clase.

“Este local no los usa nadie entre las 9 y las 3:30 cuando los niños están en la escuela y los adultos en el trabajo” explica George Greenfield, supervisor de la SASF. “Están vacías. Y esa es la idea del programa, el traer los niños hasta aquí” añade Greenfield.

Este año siete escuelas del Bronx se han unido al programa. Al igual que la PS 168 y la PS 754,  todas  son parte del Distrito 75, un distrito que atiende a estudiantes con necesidades especiales. (Según Greenfield las escuelas del Distrito 75 normalmente son pequeñas ya que están ubicadas en un mismo edificio con otras escuelas).

Jesse Mojica, director de educación y juventud de Carrión califica el programa como “extremadamente interesante”.

“Tenemos que explorar ideas innovadoras como esta…de manera que la educación física no quede a un lado mientras luchamos por nuevos gimnasios” dijo Mojica.

LAS DEMANDAS DE CARRION

Para la recolección de los datos del informe, la oficina de Carrión envió por correo electrónico una encuesta a todas las 363  escuelas públicas del Bronx.  De las 209 que respondieron, 49 de ellas dijeron no tener un gimnasio. Muchas utilizan un salón multiusos como una cafetería por ejemplo.

El problema no es único del Bronx. A nivel de toda la ciudad el 18 por ciento de las escuelas se encuentran en la misma posición de acuerdo a un estudio realizado en el 2003 por el Comité de Educación del Concejo de la Ciudad. De acuerdo a Mojica el problema “ha existido por décadas” debido a un mísero financiamiento y la carencia de la ciudad de apreciar el impacto positivo que el ejercicio tiene en la salud de los niños y en su desempeño en el salón de clase.

Entre otras de las conclusiones del reporte de Carrión están que el 22 por ciento de las escuelas públicas del Bronx no tienen un local de educación física externo, como un patio de recreo; mas del 90 por ciento de las escuelas primarias y el 49 por ciento de las escuelas medias no ofrecen suficientes horas de educación física de acuerdo a los requisitos del estado de Nueva York; el 21 por ciento de las escuelas no cuentan con un maestro de educación física certificado.

El reporte de Carrión titulado “Mas que un Juego de Niños: la Necesidad de Mejorar la Política y la Infraestructura de Educación Física en las Escuelas Públicas del Bronx” incluye una serie de recomendaciones para el DOE tales como la asignación de fondos en el plan capital del 2010-2014 para la construcción de gimnasios en las escuelas que no tienen uno; la contratación de maestros de educación física certificados para todas las escuelas; y que se asegure que todas las escuelas cumplan con los requisitos de educación física mandados por el estado.

“La DOE tiene una obligación tanto legal como moral en asegurar que los estudiantes tengan acceso a locales y programas de educación física” dice Carrión en su reporte. “Para asegurar un futuro saludable para nuestros jóvenes, la DOE debe tomar un rol proactivo en abordar la falta de educación física adecuada en nuestras escuelas públicas” añade el informe.

Marge Feinberg, vocera de la DOE dijo que el departamento ha leído el reporte de Carrión pero rehusó a comprometerse con cualquiera de las recomendaciones expresadas.

“Compartimos las preocupaciones del presidente Carrión” explica Feinberg en un correo electrónico “y es por ello que hemos trabajado duro en los últimos cinco años para mejorar la educación física en las escuelas de la ciudad de Nueva York, y para darle a los estudiantes acceso a programas de excelente calidad”.

Feinberg dijo que $232 millones del plan capital del 2005 -09 son utilizados para mejorar los gimnasios, las piscinas y los patios de recreo, añadiendo que “se seguirá el trabajo en el próximo Plan Capital”.

Sin embargo admitió que “la situación económica no es muy buena en estos momentos”.

SALIENDOSE DE SUS CASILLAS

Mojita explicó que la DOE “nos ha escuchado” y que muchas de las recomendaciones de Carrión han aparecido en el borrador del Plan Capital del 2010-2014 que el DOE hizo público en noviembre (y que fue actualizado en febrero). Pero la mayoría de los $215 millones que se han designado para “educación física” serán utilizados en la mejora de locales ya existentes y no en la construcción de nuevos gimnasios.

“Hay preocupación” dijo Mojita.

Romano, maestro de la PS 226 dijo que la DOE no ha dado razones por las cuales se tenga esperanza en nada. “No nos han dicho nada. No somos prioridad para ellos” La PS 226, al igual que la CIS 204 en Morris Heights no aparecen en el borrador de 185 de la DOE.

Romano dijo que el hecho de que la escuela no tenga un gimnasio es una cosa de “locos”.

“La falta de un gimnasio afecta a los niños, tanto de manera emocional como mental y física. Ellos tienen mucha energía que luego se traduce en falta de enfoque que hace que en los salones de clases se salgan de sus casillas” dijo Romano.

Naturalmente los padres de familia tienen temor de dejar que sus hijos jueguen afuera en una comunidad que está llena de drogas y pandilla, dijo Romano. De hecho según él, los padres de familia prefieren que sus hijos vean televisión y jueguen videos. Es por ello que muchos niños nunca salen a jugar y mucho menos practican deportes.

Para contribuir a la recaudación de fondos para un nuevo gimnasio los maestros de la PS 226 hicieron un video que esperar mostrárselos a donantes potenciales. En el video tanto estudiantes, padres de familia y maestros explican como las instalaciones beneficiaran la escuela y a los residentes locales, quienes harán uso de ellas por las tardes y los fines de semana.

Un padre de familia dice en el video: “Creo que es una pena que tenemos criminales en las cárceles que bajo ley deben tener un gimnasio pero que nuestros niños no”.

Por JAMES FERGUSSON

Nota del Editor: Este artículo es parte de una beca de educación sobre reportaje financiada por la Alianza de Medios Comunitarios de Nueva York.

 

Giving Back to the Community

February 10, 2009

In recent weeks, President Barack Obama has urged Americans to volunteer their time, in part of what he calling “a new era of responsibility.” In the local area, and elsewhere in the Bronx, many organizations are looking for a helping hand, including:

Davidson Community Center (2038 Davidson Ave.)

The center is recruiting volunteers to help with administration duties and other projects such HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy prevention, budget cuts protests, and the creating of a Business Improvement District (or BID) along Burnside Avenue. Contact Angel Caballero at (718) 731-6360.

Mount Hope Housing Company (2003-05 Walton Ave.)

Volunteers are needed to assist with administration duties and community event planning. Contact Vanessa Matthew at (718) 229-2051, ext. 23. Tutors are also needed to work with elementary, high school and non-students, ages 6 to 24.  These students need help with homework, SAT and GED preparation. Contact Estel Fonseca at (718) 466-3600, ext. 16.

The Harlem River Ecology Center (55 Richman Plaza at the Harlem River)

The self-described “urban nature center” next to the Harlem River is seeking volunteers to help with day-to-day activities at the center such as habitat care, exhibit tours, environmental stewardship, conservation support projects, clean water action events, annual eco-cruise series, waterfront festivals and community outreach. Call (718) 901-3331 or (347) 224-5687 to learn more.

The New York Botanical Garden (Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Road)

Interested in horticulture? There are numerous volunteer opportunities at the Garden, many of which do not require prior experience. Past volunteers have helped with gardening, customer service, research, and event planning. Others have taught children about plants and the environment. For more information, contact Jackie Martinez at (718) 817-8564.

The 46th Precinct (2120 Ryer Ave.)

Auxiliary police officers help keep the community safe by providing foot, bicycle, and vehicle patrols. To join, there is a mandatory 46-hour training course and minimum commitment of 144 hours of service per year. The auxiliary coordinator at the 46th Precinct can be reached at (718) 817-8564.

University Woods (near Bronx Community College)

Friends of the Woods, a group of local residents working to improve conditions inside University Woods, a 3-acre woods and park near Bronx Community College, is seeking new members. They are looking for people with an interest in public speaking, relationship building, grant writing, environmental education, and/or marketing, etc. The group holds regular events, such as tours for residents, cleanups, and block parties. Members can help with these too. “There are a lot of opportunities with our group and we are open to any talent that is interested,” says founder Brandy Cochrane. For information, visit www.uniwoods.com or call (718) 228-9309.

Compiled by ARIEL ELGHANAYAN

High Bridge on Cusp of Major Renovation; The City’s Oldest Bridge, Closed for 40 Years, Will Reopen in 2012

February 5, 2009

High BridgeHours before sunrise on the last day of June in 1897, a lone figure could be seen perched atop the High Bridge. Patrick Cook, 35, wanted to test out his flying machine that he believed would “startle the world,” according to The New York Times.

One could say he achieved his goal that very morning, shocking the world, or at least the city, after his parachute caught on one of the bridge’s arches and left him hanging by his left foot for hours over the Harlem River before being retrieved and arrested for jumping off the bridge.  

In subsequent years, many others would follow suit, plunging 138 feet into the river’s cold waters whether for fun, fame, or more morbid pursuits.  

Quenching the City’s Thirst

Before the High Bridge became the launch pad for eccentric inventors and daredevils, it was an important link in the Old Croton Aqueduct, which carried fresh water from the Croton River in Westchester County to a reservoir in Manhattan.

Built in 1848, it’s the city’s oldest standing bridge. While its water carrying duties were cut short in 1955 when the aqueduct was discontinued, it lived on as a popular walkway for tourists and residents alike, until it was closed around 1970.

Jesslyn Moser, a spokesperson for the Parks Department, speculated that the bridge was shuttered after youths threw stones and debris off it, injuring several people on Circle Line boats below. There had also been reports of criminal activity on or around the bridge, which connects High Bridge Park in Washington Heights to High Bridge Park in the Bronx, on 170th Street.

After a 40-year hibernation, the bridge is expected to reopen in 2012. Work will begin next winter. To prevent a reoccurrence of criminal activity and vandalism, 12 full-time staff members will be appointed to monitor the bridge and a high fence will be installed on the bridge to prevent material from being thrown over the side, according to the Parks Department.  

Over the years, there have been several attempts to reopen the High Bridge, but it wasn’t until 2005 when Congressman Jose E. Serrano provided $5 million in funding that the ball got rolling, said the Parks Department’s Ellen Macnow, the High Bridge Project coordinator. 

“When I obtained initial funding for the restoration of the High Bridge back in 2005, like many in the community, I envisioned a renovation that would enrich our neighborhood with a new pedestrian and bike route to upper Manhattan,” said Serrano in an e-mail. “We all look forward to the day when we can safely enjoy this historical treasure again.” 

After a $2.5 million structural inspection, completed in 2006 by the New York City Department of Transportation, $60 million more came from Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2007 as part of PlaNYC, a long-term plan to make New York greener and more environmentally friendly. There is an additional $7.2 million in federal transportation grant funds.  

Several independently funded off-bridge projects have already been completed. On the Bronx side, the one-acre High Bridge Park was renovated in 2002. And in 2007, the Parks Department and the Department of Environmental Protection jointly funded the restoration of the park’s gatehouse.   

Connecting Two Boroughs

Once restored, the High Bridge will be open for year round pedestrian and bicycle use, giving Bronxites easy access to an outdoor swimming pool, baseball fields, and basketball courts on the Manhattan side of the river. No cars will be allowed.

High Bridge Water Tower

Macnow said the bridge’s resurrection has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the community, especially those who used to walk and bike across it as children and teenagers. 

Earlene Wilkerson has lived in the Highbridge community for 25 years and remembers that when the High Bridge first closed, children continued to use it, jumping over a wire fence in order to access the park in Manhattan. 

Today, the entrance is secured by a high wooden gate lined with barbed wire and bolted with a padlock.

“Most of the children want to use the resources on the other side,” said local resident Jose Gonzalez, 34, who is in the process of creating a documentary about the Highbridge neighborhood. “They have to take the bus instead of walking across the bridge.” 

For Gonzalez, the reopening will not only give Bronxites access to amenities on the other side of the river, but reunite two communities. “I’m pretty excited,” he said. “I have a lot of friends on the Manhattan side. The connection we had between the two boroughs – we lost it when they closed the bridge.” 

Antonia Diaz, 97, who moved to Highbridge in 1965 and who walked across the bridge when it was still open, summed up her feelings about the reopening with brief but punctuated words. “I’m all for it,” she said.  

By REBECCA CHAO

Mount Hope Provides Quality Affordable Housing

February 5, 2009

Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the recent news article in the January issue of the Monitor that detailed concerns raised by tenants at 1892 Morris Ave., some of whom have taken Mount Hope to court because they say the organization has failed to make building repairs.

When Mount Hope was established 23 years ago, community advocacy and creating safe, decent, and affordable housing was truly the core value from which the Mount Hope Housing Company started, and community advocacy will always be a part of our mission. 

Mount Hope management, however, was very concerned about the statements made by tenants of our flagship building at 1892 Morris Avenue since most of the housing concerns were resolved (between October 2007 and September 2008) prior to the published article in January 2009. 

All problems related to the pest problems have been dismissed and cleared by the NYC Department of Housing and Preservation and the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal. To eliminate pest problems, Mount Hope invested and secured a pest elimination company and not a pest control company to ensure that all rodents were eliminated from the building.  In addition, the Mount Hope Housing Company is committed to revitalizing its 110 units at 1892 Morris, and the organization’s 30 additional buildings.  We will continue to incorporate a sustainable neighborhood concept into our community development approach, and provide collaborative, comprehensive, and synergist programming to the community.

Again, we encourage our tenants be advocates for their community.  Tenants can call the 24-hour Customer Service Hotline, and Mount Hope’s Community Ambassador Program to discuss housing management concerns. The program was created in October 2007 to strengthen the relationship between tenants of all 31 buildings, and to engage them in becoming advocates for their community, and to help them learn about the products and services that the Mount Hope Housing Company provides for the community. 

Tenants can reach the 24-hour Customer Service Hotline at (866) 279-6388. The Community Ambassador program’s number is (718) 299-7177.

Mount Hope Housing Company

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