Winchester Tenants Association and Philly Socialists Solidarity Network
4804 Chester Avenue
December 26, 2014
Friends Rehabilitation Program
704 W. Girard Ave.
cc: 1260 Housing Development Corporation / Mission First Housing
Dear Mr. Anderson and FRP board members,
We, tenants of the FRP owned Winchester building at 4804 Chester Avenue, along with Philadelphia residents standing in solidarity with us, demand you take the following actions to make our homes livable:
1. Execute a timely, building-wide extermination of the profound beg bug infestation and commit to regular necessary follow-up treatments. Extermination will require FRP to provide mattress encasements for each FRP resident, treatment of each apartment, and assistance readying apartments for those who are unable to prepare for extermination because of age, mental status, or disability status.
2. Provide reimbursement to tenants who have lost furniture due to the bed bug infestation and to tenants who have lost carpeting to basement flooding (and any other loss of tenant property that is due to a lack of maintenance).
3. Hire a qualified HVAC team to investigate the Winchester’s heating problems and enact their recommendations.
4. Hire plumbers, not maintenance staff untrained in plumbing, to address the building’s many leaks.
5. Address any molds that have resulted from those leaks.
6. Repair the entry doors so they close and do not slam.
7. Install lighting in the rear fire escape.
8. Patch holes in ceilings, walls, and floors.
9. Repair broken windows that do not stay in position.
10. Regularly maintain the outdoor space of the building.
11. Dispose of the unwrapped mattress on the side of the building that may have been there for over a year.
12. Provide building security staff and affix security mirrors to walls across from elevators.
13. Fix the gate to the trash area and dumpster and distribute keys to the gate to all tenants.
14. Commit to training FRP staff in sensitivity to issues including, but not limited to, gender identity, racial identity, sexual identity, age and disability. Staff must treat each tenant with respect.
15. Maintain regular office hours so that tenants can pay their rent on time without being charged late fees. Give receipts for rent payments.
16. Provide tenants with a transparent explanation of the hiring policy for staff provided with access to tenants’ apartments.
17. Replace the hallway carpets in all halls.
18. We request an audited copy of your budget detailing the income and expenses for your organization, including the amount of money spent on maintenance for the Winchester building . If we do not receive this information, we will ignore all arguments regarding lack of funds as they are unsubstantiated.
The Philly Socialists Solidarity Network originally requested a written timeline for moving forward on building issues on November 5th, when it delivered a letter to the FRP office with a delegation. On December 2, tenant grievances were presented directly to the leadership of FRP. Mr. Anderson committed to providing tenants with a written timeline. FRP has yet to provide it. Therefore, we ask that you provide us with a timeline for moving forward on these issues immediately.
The Winchester Tenants Committee and the Philly Socialists Solidarity Network