FEE MESSAGE MANGLED

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Some public housing residents are steaming over the way the New York City Housing Authority announced higher fees. In January, the authority posted the news as a four-page notice in each lobby, listing the new fees and the 30-day comment period, expiring March 13, in which residents could write their grievances to the authority. The fees were also published in the NYCHA’s monthly newspaper, which is published in English and Spanish. “This is something that we disseminated as widely as possible,” said NYCHA Chair Tino Hernandez. But residents said the notices were easily torn off lobby walls or overlooked. Erik Crawford, vice-chair for the Bronx South Council of Presidents, which represents NYCHA residents, said the authority didn’t include the fee hike in its five-year plan and didn’t notify the Resident Advisory Board. New rates include $620.36 for front door replacement, up from $372.64, and $89.26 to replace a heating valve, previously $36.90. Hernandez said the increases would only affect residents responsible for damages. But that doesn’t apply to the new water fee: now residents with washing machines will now pay $5.75 monthly. Douglas Apple, NYCHA’s general manager, said the fees are expected to generate roughly $1.5 million in revenue in the coming years. (J. E. Mendez) [03/20/06]