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Showing posts from June, 2013

"Luxe Builders" Chase Tax Breaks (City loses out)

 

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The impossible proves porously possible. In January, State Senator Martin J. Golden, Republican of Brooklyn, and Assemblyman Keith Wright, Democrat of Manhattan, attached a gilded little 421-a “carve-out” to the underside of a much-needed housing bill for New York City. Everyone voted for it. Just like that, Mr. Barnett’s development earned a property tax exemption worth at least $50 million, maybe much more, over the next 10 years.NY Times

R3 Helps Stop Bad Bill in Albany's Waning Hours

 

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In the last minutes of the 2012-2013 legislative session, the real estate lobby tried to pass a  bill to expand the J-51 tax subsidy program by allowing benefits for development projects that did not qualify under the “One Big Ugly” combined bill enacted in January of this year (Chapter 4, Laws of 2013).
Jaron Benjamin, facilitator of R3, went to Albany to make sure that the landlords did not sneak any bad bill through. With the support of the Met Council report on 421-a tax giveaways, reported in the NY Daily News, he stopped it.

RGB whacks NYC tenants: Highest hike since 2008

 

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The NYC Rent Guidelines Board just hurt tenants with huge increases. 

For rent stabilized tenants: 
For a one-year renewal lease commencing on or after October 1, 2013 and on or before September 30, 20144.0%For a two-year renewal lease commencing on or after October 1, 2013 and on or before September 30, 2014:7.75
See the Wall St. Journal article and more information below. 
See the RGB website for increases for other types of rentals.

REPORT: 421-a A PRODUCT OF DEVELOPER CASH

 

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According to a report released today by the Met Council on Housing, the 421-a tax giveaway was the product of Albany’s dysfunctional culture, which allows virtually unlimited cash from wealthy real estate developers.

Information from the report was used in a New York Daily News article printed today. You can view the full report HERE. Key Findings:·Combined, developers of four of the five luxury buildings gave at least $440,962 to PACs, state offices, and political par­ties in 2012 alone. (After an exhaustive search, we were not able to obtain data for the developer of the fifth building.)

·Governor Cuomo, who had to sign the 421-a legislation, re­ceived $150,000 from the four developers in 2012. He was the biggest recipient of cash from these developers last year.

·Contributions from Extell Development Company and its princi­pals, owners of One57, accounted for $229,262 of the 2012 total. Extell has given a whopping $771,436 to state committees and campaigns since 2005, spent $74,500 l…

CAMPAIGN LAUNCH

 

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On Saturday, June 15, the Real Rent Reform Campaign has launched a massive outreach initiative across the  city, focusing on areas with high concentrations of rent-regulated tenants In exactly two years, the rent laws-responsible for protecting tenants and regulating rents-will expire.

Simply renewing the rent laws will not be enough. We must strengthen and expand them, or rent regulation will suffer a slow death and only the super rich will be able to live in New York City.

That's why we must organize, fundraise and mobilize now.

Contact organizing@realrentreform.org for posters, fliers and other materials that we'll need to rally the troops to defeat the Landlords.
My Countdown


















FOR MORE DETAILS, CONTACT USORGANIZING@REALRENTREFORM.ORG

R3 REPORT SHOWS FUZZY RGB MATH

 

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On the day of the final Rent Guidelines Board hearing at 49-51 Chambers Street, Real Rent Reform released a study that shows how faulty calculations of costs have caused rents and landlords' incomes to soar, and how rent stabilized tenants are facing the largest rent burdens in the history of the program.

Get the report here.

Among the findings:
Rent-stabilized tenants now pay nearly 35% of their income in rent – the highest rent burden ever recorded in our city’s historyFrom 2009 to the present, there have been $4.8 billion in rent increases while costs have increased by $2.9 billion, meaning landlords overall have received an extra $1.9 billion.A major contributor to the dramatic increase in landlord income over the past several years has been the aggressive pattern of rent increases authorized by the Rent Guidelines Board For more information, contact:



Michael McKee (917) 669-2977 mmckee@tenantspac.org
Jaron Benjamin (718) 864-3932 jaron@realrentreform.or…

Bus to Albany June 18 for Fair Elections

 

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GETON THE BUS!


ALBANY | TUESDAY JUNE 18

New York’s campaign finance system is broken. A loophole that allows landlords to give almost unlimited amounts of cash must be closed if Tenants are going to win reform in Albany-the wealthy developers, landlords and realtors drown out the voices of everyday New Yorkers. It’s time to change the way politics works in Albany.  
Governor Cuomo has proposed a bill that would close the loophole - but the bill won't pass unless the Governor and the "Independent Democratic Caucus" get it through the legislature.   

Gov. Cuomo: Close the LLC "landlord loophole"!

 

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Will landlords survive campaign finance reform? Real estate loophole must be closed
We are mere days away from the close of the 2013 legislative session. The session must not end without enactment of meaningful campaign finance reform.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver are pushing a package of reforms, the most important of which would establish a program of matching public funds for candidates who agree to limit their spending, similar to the New York City program. The Assembly has passed a bill containing this and other reforms.

TENANT MEDIA ROUNDUP

 

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-MONEY THROWN AT NYS SENATE-
-PACKED HOUSE AT THE PEOPLES' RGB-
Tenants were pretty creative this week, and garnered attention in the process. Whether raining money down on Senate Republicans in the Capitol for blocking legislation that would help stop landlords from flooding Albany with cash or hosting nearly 200 concerned tenants in the Bronx, the press took note:


Media from the Peoples' RGB: NY Times: CASA's Event Draws 180+Bill deBlasio's Flickr Page: View Photos Here
Media from NYS Senate Money Drop:
Buzzfeed: Money Rains in the NYS SenateAlbany Times Union: Video of Money on the Senate FloorYoutube: Video From the Senate BalconyNY Times Blog: Activist Stunt Livens SessionWNYT (Albany's Channel 13): Activists Push Senate to Vote

THE PEOPLES' RGB - Tonight - Wed. June 5

 

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CASA HOSTS THE PEOPLES' RGB TONIGHT - WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5 - 5:30pm
New Settlement Community Center | 1501 Jerome Ave @ 172 St, the Bronx Getting there: 4 or D train to 170th St
The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) - a nine member body appointed by Mayor Bloomberg responsible for regulating rents for nearly 2.5 million tenants - has refused to host public hearings outside of Manhattan.

Given Bloomberg's less-than-stellar record on housing, this still comes as a shock - so tenants from all over the city are encouraged to join CASA (Community Action for Safe Apartments) to be heard.  

It's important to keep up the energy and go to the "official" Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) events":

Public Hearing
Thursday, June 13, 2013 | 10am
Emigrant Savings Bank Building
49-51 Chambers St. (between Broadway and Centre St.) 

Final Vote
Thursday, June 20, 2013 | 5:30pm
The Great Hall at Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street (at corner of Third Avenue)

If you can't go, you can submit your views in writ…

SUPPORT NYCHA RESIDENTS | JUNE 6

 

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OPPOSE NYCHA'S LUXURY HOUSING PLAN
JOHNSON COMMUNITY CENTER 1883 LEXINGTON AVE | THURSDAY JUNE 6
NYCHA is planning to lease public housing land so private developers can build luxury housing at 8 public housing projects in Manhattan At Campos Plaza, Baruch, La Guardia, Smith, Meltzer, Carter, Washington, & Douglass Houses.
This incredibly shortsighted plan will result in increased police harassment of NYCHA tenants and gentrification of surrounding areas - all while wealthy developers continue to make money hand over fist.

Click here for a flyer in English and Spanish.

For more info, contact Julian Morales at julian@goles.org