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Our concerns about Lantern Org

​The city, DOHMH, is considering awarding the Lantern Organization another contract to manage a 333 unit building with 99 units of supportive housing for formerly homeless single adult with mental health issues, Timbale Terrace, despite complaints of its failure to manage two existing supportive housing nearby: Prospero Hall at 111 E 118th St and Shafer Hall at 117 E 118th St.  Residents of Prospero Hall complained of high number of overdose incidents and rampant drug use and dealing in Prospero Hall and Schafer Hall. Such observations are corroborated by gardeners from Lydia's Magic Garden and those living near the two buildings - see photos of needles in the garden and near Prospero Hall.

(See original RFP in 2019 here)

The block association repeatedly complain to officials but no actions have been taken yet.  Please help us raise awareness of the issue. Below are records of public complaints made:

  1. 2021 Aug: We wrote a letter to the Lantern Organization, Afro Jazz organization and elected officials with repeated follow ups and received no response
  2. 2021 Dec: Patch reported opposition from Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez,

  3. 2021 Nov : we complained to City councilwomen Kristin Jordan,

  4. 2022 Jan 19: we complained at community board 11 presentation at 1hr 50 mins where community members raised numerous objections and many more were not allowed to speak and Lantern refused to admit problems in their building (see excerpts on youtube: #1, #2, #3)

  5. 2022 June : We filed complaints with Department of Social Services and Mayor's Community Affairs

  6. 2022 Sept:  We invited City Councilwomen Kristin Jordan to walk our neighborhood with us to witness rampant open-air drug use

  7. 2022 Nov: We filed complaints to New York State  Assembly Member Eddie Gibbs and Department of Mental health

  8. 2022 Nov: Lantern Org refused the tenant's request for meeting together with elected officials, CB11 and NYPD

  9. 2022 Dec: We filed compliant to the new Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine

  10. 2023 Jan: We filed complaint to community board 11, and all elected officials, requesting a hearing

  11. 2023 June: We followed up with elected officials about our complaint of the Timbale Terrace

How can you help?

Speak at the full board meeting at Community Board 11 .. Register to speak here

Schedule an in person or zoom meeting with City Council Member Diana Ayala, and Kristin Jordan.

 The block association is requesting the following from the Lantern Organization to mitigate the safety issues it generated:

  1. A permanent email address that neighbors can send complaints and concerns to about all 3 buildings. Emails should be available to review by police or auditors

  2. Enable and support the organization of a tenant association for all buildings located on 118th street. Including:

    1. Providing a designated time and place for monthly meeting

    2. Distributing meeting time and date to each floor of monthly meeting

    3. Routinely educating tenants ways to file incidence reports.

    4. Routinely distributing surveys to tenants to allow for anonymous report of issues

  3. Quarterly meeting with the block association to discuss safety issues, and associated remediation plans. The block association will invite the police and elected officials to attend. Quarterly report should be minuted and should include the following, after confidential information is masked:

    1. Number of people in hold over, lease violation issued​

    2. Number of incidence report filed, and subsequent actions taken

    3. Information reported in the anonymous email inbox, and subsequent actions taken

    4. Number of on-going investigations and requests for videos by law enforcements and number of cases when a tenant is charged or convicted of misdemeanor or crime

    5. Number of 911 calls and death in the building related to overdose and disturbance

    6. Staff turnover and number of unfilled positions related to the building

    7. Number of residents in different type of housing who are from Harlem

    8. Attendance of different social service programs offered to residents

  4. A written contingent management plan of procedures to handle tenants engaging in drug use and drug dealing. Auditor should confirm these procedures are being followed e.g., mandatory drug treatment plan, put tenants in hold over, issue lease violation...etc.

  5. More intentional selection of tenants, considering the excessive density of supportive housing in the area.  Ensure all the residents in supportive housing are from East Harlem.  Given the rampant drug dealing activities near your building, refrain from selecting tenants susceptible to drug use as this is a triggering environment for them

  6. Increase focus in managing safety issues inside and outside of the building:

    1. Hire qualified security guards who are able to deter criminal elements from coming into the building and is not afraid to file incident reports

    2. Ensure there is sufficient manpower to review videos.

    3. Increase security guards that patrols the area.

    4. Provide a written guide and training to staff of situations where incidence report should be filed. (e.g. needles found in the garden, drug use in trash room, noise in the corridor).   

    5. Increase cooperation with the police to arrest the tenants who are conducting illegal activities

  7. Regarding building design, increase lighting on the peripheral of the building, ensure security cameras cover all of the areas external to the building

  8. A contract between Department of Social Services and Lantern that hold Lantern organization accountable for crimes in side the building and surrounding areas. DSS' contract with Lantern Organization should include review of all the above points and DSS should review the minutes from the quarterly meeting with the block association. 

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