A Suffolk County legislator is calling for the revocation of tax benefits given to a Smithtown housing complex
after managers allegedly threatened dozens of senior citizens with eviction.
Suffolk Legislator Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) submitted a formal request to the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency Feb. 22 asking it rescind tax breaks granted to Siena Village as he called into question the management practices of the complex’s management company, PK Management.
Valencia Burney, property manager for Siena Village, said that PK Management sent out approximately 70 notices dated Dec. 29 to residents notifying them of outstanding balances for their apartment rents.
A copy of one such letter shared with TBR News Media reads, “Please be advised that PK Management, LLC., the managing agent of the property at 2000 Bishops Road, Smithtown, NY 11787, does hereby terminate your tenancy at this property.” It then cites that “in accordance with HUD guidelines” the resident’s lease would end Jan. 8, only 10 days after the date of the letter.
“There is little evidence to believe that the residents of Siena Village are going to be treated with the decency and respect to which they are entitled.”
— Rob Trotta
One Siena Village resident, who spoke with TBR News Media on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, and was very scared and disturbed to receive the letter.
“You don’t do this to seniors,” the resident said. “I’ve worked all my life. I’ve paid my dues. Now, I need help. I don’t think anyone thought they would go this far.”
Trotta said his office received “numerous complaints” from Siena Village residents in January who said they received letters like the one cited above, being unfairly threatened with eviction.
“PK Management’s threatening tactics have thrown this community into turmoil, driving many elderly residents into a frantic state with some even being hospitalized as a result,” reads his letter to Suffolk IDA.
Trotta said Feb. 15 a community meeting was held with PK Management representatives, who apologized for the letters claiming they were sent in error. Yet, the legislator alleges PK Management informed the citizens in attendance that New York State law allows them “two days to evict,” and the company provides 10. Trotta said this is not in accordance with state law, in which the eviction process can take several months to process through the courts — a fact he claims the complex has hidden from its residents.
“There is little evidence to believe that the residents of Siena Village are going to be treated with the decency and respect to which they are entitled,” Trotta wrote in his statement.
According to the legislator, PK Management was provided with tax abatements in excess of $600,000 by the Suffolk IDA. Now, he is calling for the IDA to revoke those benefits immediately given their treatment of the Smithtown residents.
PK Management did not respond to requests for comment on Trotta’s demand.
“The Suffolk IDA has received Legislator Trotta’s letter and is looking into the matter,” said Tony Catapano, director of Suffolk IDA, in a statement.