Friday, November 30, 2012

Stuy Town Settles Roberts Lawsuit

Tenants & electeds celebrating
Roberts victory in 2009
In 2009, New York State's highest court ruled that since owners getting J-51 tax breaks to make improvements could not de-regulate apartments, thousands of apartments at Stuyvesant Town / Peter Cooper Village had been illegally taken out of rent stabilization.  Roberts v. Tishman Speyer

But the court left it up to the owners and tenants (members of the Real Rent Reform Campaign) to come up with what the rents should actually be - while the development was being gentrified.  The tenants and owners have now come to a settlement - as a result of which, the owners have put up $68.7 million to compensate 21,250 current and past tenants.  

The New York Times reports
John Marsh, president of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenant Association, said the settlement brought “much needed resolution for residents who have had to live with uncertainty for years now.” But, he said, “These rents are still out of reach for working families, and weakened rent laws will only continue to turn our community into a place that firefighters and teachers can no longer afford.”  
“Tenants had overpaid for years as a result of illegal rent deregulation, and they have been waiting a long time for relief,” Mr. Garodnick said. “I am concerned that a significant number of tenants may be subject to rent increases under this agreement.”