Saturday, February 28, 2015

Get on the Bus - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tell your legislators how to strengthen the rent laws when they expire in June!   

Sign up with R3 for one of our three bus pick-ups:

  • 7 AM: Union Square  - 4th Ave, E 14th St, SE Corner, in front of Walgreens)
  • 7:30 AM: 96th and Broadway (Upper West Side)  - 2549 Broadway, in front of McDonald's.
  • 7:45 AM: 157th and Broadway (Washington Heights) - 157th and Broadway, SE corner of the street

RSVP on line or contact Yonah at 212-979-6238. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mayor di Blasio supports repeal of vacancy deregulation

"To tackle the affordable housing crisis, the City and State must work cooperatively.  Even though I know the discussion of the future of rent regulation will occur post-budget, I must emphasize now the importance of renewing and strengthening rental protections that expire this year.

"If they are not renewed and strengthened, many thousands of apartments will become unaffordable.  And many thousands of people will lose their homes.

"I also want to state clearly my belief that we must end vacancy decontrol.  It is a major contributing factor in the loss of rent-protected units in the City."

Click on "read more" for the full text of the rent law part of his speech.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sign the Petition for Stronger Rent Laws!

With the rent laws expiring this year, it is vital that we let our lawmakers in Albany know that we need stronger laws to protect and preserve affordable housing. Stronger rent laws are an urgent civil rights and social justice issue for communities of color in New York City and the surrounding suburban counties. Too many black and brown tenants are at risk. We have already lost hundreds of thousands of rent stabilized and rent controlled units due to weak regulations -- we cannot afford to lose one more.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

City & State join forces to investigate & prosecute landlord harassment of tenants

The Mayor, NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, NYS Homes & Community Renewal Commissioner (includes DHCR) Darryl Towns, and NYC  HPD Commissioner Vicki Bean announced the creation of a Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force, to go after landlords who use illegal means to displace tenants.   Their press release and press conference say:

City and State agencies will work together to
  • look for patterns, 
  • pro-actively go after "recidivist" landlords,
  • respond to 311 calls with all relevant agencies doing joint inspections and sharing information,
  • investigate for criminal charges (not just housing court penalties)
  • impose steeper penalties. 
The goal:  Quicker, steeper penalties that will exceed the current "cost of doing business" - and thus discourage unscrupulous landlords from their nefarious deeds. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Putting Rent Reform on the Legislative Agenda

Tenants bussed up to Albany on February 14th to put real rent reform on the legislative agenda.
They marched up and down the Concourse, and their chanting was heard by hundreds of people attending the Black,  Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian caucus weekend, including legislators and their staff members, with the giant valentine to Cuomo in front.

The True Cost of 421-A

Jenny Akshin of Met Council on Housing has written The True Cost of 421-A, noting that with the $1.1 Billion lost to 421-a tax breaks in fiscal year 2013/2014, New York City could have:
  • made up for NYCHA’s deficits in FY2014, or
  • built (at least) 13 high-quality multi-family rental buildings, for over 1500 units of truly affordable housing, or
  • doubled the number of vouchers available through the Section 8 Program

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tenants to Urge Cuomo to Be Our Valentine & Repeal Vacancy Deregulation

Tenants from all over New York City are braving the cold to march at the Governor's mansion in Albany on Saturday, February 14, 2015.  They will urge Governor Cuomo to "be our valentine" by repealing vacancy deregulation.

Click here for the flyer in English and in Spanish

Friday, February 13, 2015

Sign a Petition thanking Speaker Heastie: Stronger Rent Laws are his priority

Sign our online petition thanking New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for declaring that stronger rent protection laws will be his number one priority, and telling him that he has tenants behind him in this fight. Because the State Senate is controlled by the Republicans, and with only lukewarm support from the Governor, strong action by the Speaker is needed to increase our chances of winning real pro-tenant reforms when the rent laws are renewed in June.

Please sign the petition and forward to your friends, neighbors, colleagues, members, facebook and twitter.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Buses almost filled - Albany on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015

Rent Law Lobby Day in February

We will begin to press our case in the halls of Albany starting Saturday, Feb. 14th. Tenants  and allies will be heading to Albany to talk to our elected officials face-to-face.

Cosponsored with the Alliance for Tenant Power

Every year the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus Members hold a weekend to meet constituents and plan out their priorities for the coming session. This year, we will make sure they know that the tenant movement needs them to stand up with us to renew and strengthen the Rent Laws.

The Assembly is especially important for our strategy this year, and there is no better way to target these Assemblymembers than talking to them face-to-face.

If you would like to attend this crucial Lobby Day, please fill out this online form and we will get you the correct information about transportation, etc.

Transportation to Albany will be provided - but the seats are almost all filled, so contact to confirm.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Feb. 2 meetings postponed due to weather

Unfortunately, the inclement weather has -- again -- forced us to postpone the Membership Meeting that we rescheduled for tonight. 

There is supposed to be freezing rain all day and then temperatures are expected to drop, making the sidewalks freeze over and we don't want to force our community into any potential danger. 

We will be in touch about when and where the future meeting takes place. Please alert anyone expected to attend and who might not have access to this email list. 

Apologies again and looking forward to seeing you all soon. 

ALSO NOTE: The Legislative Committee Meeting scheduled for today is also being postponed. It will likely be on Feb 9th from 3-5pm, but look for an email from Michael to confirm.