After more than two years of negotiations, the staff at Jewish Home Lifecare nursing home, at 120 W. 106th St., recently reached a resolution with their employer regarding housing.
In May 2007, Jewish Home announced its plan to convert the Stern Residence building, where many members of the housekeeping staff, nurses and retirees were residing, into a new nursing home. Tenants, some of whom had lived in Stern for more than 20 years, were supposed to find housing on their own. Many said they felt frustrated and even “betrayed,” especially since a few of them had successfully testified at City Hall on behalf of the expansion plan without knowing they would be displaced.
Stern’s Tenants Association enlisted the support of Community Board 7, Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell, State Sen. Bill Perkins and other local groups in its protest.
Jewish Home eventually agreed to let residents move to the nearby Kaufman building, which had included offices and residences, an option it was initially reluctant to consider.
“It took some effort and time to convince Jewish Home that what they really needed to do was to utilize their own facilities,” O’Donnell said.
Twenty Stern residents chose to relocate to the Kaufman building, where tenants will receive subsidized rent rates. For those who wanted to live off-campus at local condominiums or retirement homes, Jewish Home agreed to help find and fund their housing. On July 8, Jewish Home held a housewarming party for those moving into the Kaufman building.
Both sides are happy with the resolution.
“It’s a win-win situation for both the employer and the employees,” said Bruce Nathanson, senior vice president of marketing & communications at Jewish Home.
Jewish Home “decided to do the right thing and we got a good package,” said Maggie McLean, co-chair of the Tenants Association, who now lives in Kaufman. “Health-wise, it was very draining. But I’m glad I fought.”
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