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Legislature Adjourns Without Acting on Tenant Bills

 

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Republished from the July/August 2018 Tenant/Inquillino Newspaper

By:  Michael McKee Published:  July 2018
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson addresses a rally of New York City loft tenants in Albany May 22, supporting a bill to prevent loft evictions over the coming months. Johnson led a delegation of tenants who came from the city and Nassau and Westchester counties to push for stronger rent laws. Assemblymember Maritza Davila (D-Brooklyn) is at leftThe 2018 session of the New York State Legislature ended with a whimper, not a bang. For the first time in years, there was no “Big Ugly” bill that swept up numerous unrelated issues in a last-minute grand trade between the two houses.  This strange outcome derived from an impasse in the state Senate, where the Republicans maintain a 32-31 majority with the help of turncoat Democrat Simcha Felder of Brooklyn. But when GOP Senator Tom Croci of Suffolk County returned to active duty in the Navy in May, the Republicans found that they could …

New York Times Explains Problems with the Rent Laws

 

Why We Can’t Wait: Rent Laws Must Be Fixed This Year

 

On February 9, the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development submitted initial findings from the 2017 Housing and Vacancy Survey to the City Council’s Housing Committee. The survey, commonly known as the HVS, is conducted every three years by the U.S. Census Bureau for HPD to determine whether the vacancy rate for rental housing in the city is still below 5 percent, the emergency level required to continue rent-regulation laws. The full survey is expected to be released in the summer. The HVS found that the vacancy rate remains low, at just 3.63 percent, but there are other, disturbing figures: • The median asking rent for a vacant unit is $1,875 a month. • The median income for rent-stabilized tenants is $44,560 a year, which means that any apartment that rents for more than $1,114 costs more than 30 percent of their income. • The median contract rent for rent stabilized apartments is $1,269. • Half of all rent-stabilized tenants pay at least one-third of their income …

Corey Johnson Pledges to Push Albany on Rent Laws

 

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Corey Johnson Pledges to Push Albany on Rent Laws New City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has vowed to join tenant advo- cates in a campaign to pressure the state to strengthen its rent-regulation laws. “Working with my part- ners in state government, I pledge to help lead the fight to press Albany to not only renew our rent laws, but to finally—once and for all—close the loopholes that are allowing landlords to deregulate thousands of affordable apartments every year,” he declared in a speech at his swearing-in Jan. 28. (This elicited a standing ovation.) Johnson is now in his second term representing Council District 3, which stretches from Greenwich Village to the Upper West Side. He was elected speak- er, the second most powerful political position in the city after the mayor, by his colleagues in January. On March 6, he and Housing and Buildings Committee chair Robert Cornegy (D-Brooklyn) met with 30 tenant advocates from 24 tenant and community or- ganizations from all parts of t…