Showing posts from July, 2012

J-51 Stalemate: Will tax break trump rent reform?


from Met Council on Housing'sTenant / Inquilino

J-51 Stalemate Will Tax Break Trump Rent  Reform?
By  Michael McKee

Published July 2012
For once, tenants and their allies in the state legislature had some leverage this year.
The J-51 tax-subsidy program for landlords expired last December 31. The program was designed to help owners make fire and safety improvements to rental buildings, but it now is largely a giveaway to landlords and market-rate housing. Since then, the city of New York has not been able to give out any new J-51 subsidies. (Existing J-51 contracts are not affected.)
Pro-tenant state legislators and tenant advocates set out to do two things during the 2012 legislative session: to direct J-51 subsidies away from market-rate housing and toward truly affordable projects, and to use renewing the program to win pro-tenant changes to the rent-regulation laws.  [color added]
In the spring, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) looked tenant advocates in the eye at a …

Summertime, and the livin' is not as affordable as it should be


After you've built your castle in the sand this summer, take a few minutes to ask your state legislator how he or she plans to keep our real homes affordable. 

Urge your Assemblymember and State Senator to pass nothing for the landlords (like renewing J-51 tax breaks) until tenant protections are included:

Major Capital Improvements:    Limit MCI rent increases so they stop once the building improvement is paid for. Right now these increases are permanent.     If the landlord gets any grants, loans or tax breaks for work done on the building, tenants shouldn't have to pay for the same work.  Deduct that landlord income or tax break from the amount tenants would have to pay. 

Reform the Rent Guidelines Board so the City Council has to approve the mayor's RGB appointments. Make the RGB more accountable.  

Put increases for rent controlled apartments (built before 1947)under the Rent Guidelines Boards so tenants' rents don't increase 7.5% every year.   

Protect tenants…

Tenant Protections NOW - not next year!


NYS Assembly Members have more rent regulated tenants in their districts than co-op or condo residents - or landlords.  
So why are so many A.M.s co-sponsoring Speaker Silver's bill to renew tax breaks for co-op and condos and landlords with no protections for tenants? 
Ask Your Assembly Member to Send a Letter to Speaker Sheldon Silver, as Daniel O'Donnell, Herman Farrell and Guillermo Linares have.