Congressman Sean Maloney

Representing the 18th District of New York

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After Heating Issues at Rip Van Winkle Affordable Housing Complex Persist, Maloney Asks HUD for Comprehensive Inspection and Audit

Jan 12, 2018
Press Release
Maloney, Mayor Rolison Have Been in Contact with HUD Officials Since Fire in Late October

Poughkeepsie, NY – After Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) and Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison were notified of a new round of heating issues at the Rip Van Winkle affordable housing complex in Poughkeepsie, Rep. Maloney sent a letter to Lynne Patton, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Regional Administrator for New York asking the agency to conduct a formal inspection of the property.

“This has really gone on long enough. People shouldn’t have to endure the winter without heat – it’s really that simple,” said Rep. Maloney. “It’s time for HUD to get in the game and get on the ground to figure out our next steps.”   

“I am greatly appreciative of the assistance that we have received from Congressman Maloney’s office, both here in the district and in Washington since the fire at the Rip Van Winkle Apartments,” said Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison. “They have been extremely helpful in our discussions with HUD officials as it relates to the ongoing issue of providing adequate heat and hot water to the residents.”

Rep. Maloney’s office has worked with the Mayor and other officials since a fire at Rip Van Winkle displaced more than 300 residents of the affordable housing complex. His office also facilitated multiple calls with representatives from HUD to discuss next steps regarding these persistent heating issues. Rip Van Winkle housing receives federal funding through HUD to assist low-income families afford housing in the facility. 

The full text of the letter is below and an original copy is available here.

 

Dear Ms. Patton,

I write you regarding an urgent issue facing many of my constituents in Poughkeepsie. Specifically, I am requesting that HUD complete an immediate inspection of the Rip Van Winkle House in Poughkeepsie, New York and ensures that issues identified in the inspection be mitigated in a timely fashion to protect the safety of the occupants.

On October 30, 2017 a boiler in the basement of the Rip Van Winkle House caused a fire that displaced more than 300 residents. While all residents were able to return to their units within thirty days, there have been persistent heating issues in the building, with some units heated below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Upon further discussion with the Mayor of Poughkeepsie, the Honorable Robert Rolison, there are indications that this heating issue may have been ongoing prior to the boiler fire. We have a responsibility to ensure that the residents of the Rip Van Winkle House are living in safe conditions and that they are able to heat their homes during this harsh New York winter.

I request that you conduct an immediate inspection and full audit of the Rip Van Winkle House to ensure that it is in compliance with its housing assistance program (HAP) contract and HUD-adopted Housing Quality Standards (HQS). I am further requesting that you ensure all residents, Mayor Robert Rolison, and Poughkeepsie city officials be made aware of the results of this audit immediately following its completion. Further, if there are any renovations that need to be made to ensure the safety of the Rip Van Winkle House, I ask you to ensure that they are completed in a timely fashion that provides the least amount of hardship for residents.

Thank you for your attention to this issue. Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide.