Confidence Trick

There is no other way to describe the spate of last minute flyers coming our way. The one below tells us how simple this all is: “Either you want money or you don’t”. This reads as the not so smooth come-on of a con artist attempting to manipulate people with doubletalk. Privatization is not by any stretch of the imagination the win-win that some would have you believe. Privatization at SBT is pure speculation with real world risk (just read the Special Risks section in the Black Book and a few of the posts here, including this one).

Equity is the new privatization buzzword. Of course, equity really means that you can put your home up as collateral to get a loan. I have already heard someone here on a fixed income say that should their overhead go up at SBT they would be able to get a loan to help out. Really bad idea. Should you not be able to pay back that loan – plus interest – you will lose your home. I also like how this flyer talks about Mitchell-Lama as “Big Brother.” I wonder if this person had this sentiment when they moved into SBT. I doubt they had a problem with “Big Brother” then. The author of this flyer reveals obvious ignorance when he writes “everything is so favorable” – have you even read the Black Book or taken any notice of the real economy out there? Give me a break, ignorance only goes so far. Unlike you, what I see at SBT is overwhelming disgust at the deceptive flyers coming from privatizers who believe they can trick others with their wishful thinking sales patter.




2 thoughts on “Confidence Trick

  1. Never known to be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, the author of this anti-Mitchell-Lama pack of lies (if he really is the author) apparently thinks (if he really does think) that the Board will not be a “big brother.” Well, actually, he may be right. A big brother looks after the family. A privatized SBT Board won’t have anyone l looking over their shoulder. A Board that anoints itself ruler for life with no term limits; can gain financially from contracts without fear of conflict of interest accusations; does not have to be in residence (although they must be shareholders) and can hold meetings by conference-call from their second homes in Arizona, Florida or a ’round-the-world cruise while subletting their apartment, is not a Board that will not put the overall well-being of Southbridge Towers or it’s shareholders uppermost on it’s agenda except insofar as benefits them.

    And about Independence Plaza: They began as an HPD-supervised RENTAL, built by a developer with government tax breaks and subsidies. AFTER they privatized as a market rate RENTAL many tenants qualified for Section 8 or other assistance. That assistance is provided by the City (HPD). HPD has tried to get those tenants to downsize to smaller units so that the City can reduce its burden of subsidy. (It still hasn’t happened.) But this effort took place ONLY AFTER IPN PRIVATIZED. The Grimm fairy tale is the scarey scenario the author presents of a State subsidized cooperative being bought out by a developer. There is no LAW that would allow that. The LAWS would have to be changed. What CAN happen is that investors can buy apartments of shareholders who opt out and become renters. There is no limit on the number of apartments investors can buy and investors have a vote for each apartment they own.

    And about Taxes: Those abatements are on the more than $8 million in real estate taxes SBT would be required to pay; the abatements would go to the apartment corporation–NOT to individual shareholders.

    And about that equity, equity, equity: that isn’t free money. It has to be paid back with interest–disastrous for people with limited or fixed income.

    I know the vision of buckets of free money and living large is very appealing but really, folks, you know well that free money isn’t free.


  2. 9/28 Now they (privatizers) have tee shirts and signs telling people to vote “Yes.” The promise of money causes people to
    make bad decisions. So I am apprehensive that the outcome will be in their favor. And that makes me feel sick.


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