Showing posts from October, 2012

Tenants & Others in Sandy's Aftermath


CBS NY News: Con Edison was reporting about 750,000 customers without electricity, mostly in New York City and Westchester County. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said 326 buildings and 59 public housing developments are in the dark.

NY Times's live blog - click it or updates.

10:20 am Patrick McGeehan Power Could Be Out in Manhattan for Days, Con Ed Says
Much of Manhattan below Midtown could be without electricity for several days after an explosion at a substation on the East River on Monday night, a spokesman for Consolidated Edison said Tuesday morning. Click here for the rest of this article and for updates.  

Letter from Tenants to HCR : What We Need


A Letter sent by 63 Organizations to New York State's Housing Agency

Regulation Comments
Office of Rent Administration
NYS Housing and Community Renewal
92‐31 Union Hall Street
Jamaica, NY 11433

RE: Recommendations for Revising the Rent Stabilization Code, the Tenant Protection Regulations, and the Rent Control Regulations.

We are tenant organizing and legal services organizations who represent the tenant community in New York City and the three suburban counties.

Enclosed [below]  is our response to Deputy Commissioner Woody Pascal’s request seeking input on new amendments to New York State╩╣s Rent Stabilization Code and Rent Control Regulations. We have attached recommendations that were first made to New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal last year. We have also attached draft regulatory language that we submitted to DHCR at the request of Commissioner Daryl Towns.

The primary purpose of rent r…

No Landlord Tax Breaks without Tenant Protections


Urge Your Assembly Member to tell Speaker Silver: 
NYS Assembly Members have more rent regulated tenants in their districts than co-op or condo residents - or landlords.

So why are so many Assembly Members co-sponsoring the bad Vito Lopez bill that combines co-op & condo breaks with a bill to renew billionaire J-51 and other tax breaks for landlords and developers? It has no protections for tenants.

Urge your Assembly Member (especially if you're outside Manhattan!) to 

WRITE TO SILVER:  No tenant protections? No tax breaks for landlords!

A. 10798 merges the J-51 tax abatements (for landlords who make major repairs on their building) with a bill that many Assembly Members favor (condo and co-op tax breaks).  Speaker Silver should  separate the two bills and not pass the J-51 bill unless the legislature also passes the necessary tenant bills. 

Click on the legislators' names to see the great letters already sent by Assembly Membe…

CASA/New Settlement KNOW YOUR RIGHTS workshops


CASA/New Settlement in northern Manhattan, the Bronx, and Westchester, is having a 
"KNOW YOUR RIGHTS" series of workshops in English and Spanish:

From CASA/New Settlement Apartments’ Community Action for Safe Apartments:

CASA is excited to announce our SECOND Know Your Rights Workshops Series!  Last year, we educated over 114 Bronx Tenants, with 65 tenants receiving legal advice! Thank you for all of your support to make these workshops a success.
The workshops cover a wide range of housing issues, as well as education and the police.  Every time there is a workshop, there will also be a housing legal clinic, made possible by the Urban Justice Center, Bronx Legal Services, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and The Legal Aid Society.  
Any Bronx tenant  with a housing question is welcome—though we are asking that they RSVP so that we can ensure to have enough lawyers present.
Our first workshop in this series, Know Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Rent Stabilized Tenan…

Tell DHCR We Need Stronger Tenant Protection Regulations


Join us in signing onto a city-wide letter!

The NYS Housing and Community Renewal (HCR) agency has asked tenants and landlords to propose new regulations.   From Tenants & Neighbors and last year's Working Group on HCR Regulation: "HCR should change its regulatory policy and practice to prevent the further loss of irreplaceable housing resources and the displacement of low and moderate income people from their homes and communities.  

"Lax regulation and weak enforcement have made it possible for unscrupulous landlords to unlawfully deregulate tens of thousands of rent stabilized units, and inflate even rent stabilized rents to a level beyond the reach of many working families."

Tenants & Neighbors and the Working Group on HCR Regulation have crystallized what tenants need. Join all of us in responding together, or tell DHCR directly:

Click here for T&N's memo "New Rules for Stronger Enforcement," click here f…

Billionaire Developers Offered Tax Breaks - But No Help for Tenants?


A tax break for billionaires for specific luxury apartment developers in Assembly Bill A.10798 - but  NO protections for tenants. Speaker Silver, what happened to your promise? 

Why does this bill have
NO limits on MCI increases; NO City Council input into the mayor's Rent Guidelines Board appointments; NO limits on rent controlled apt. increases; NO preferential rent limits? NBC News: 
Billionaires get 'low income' tax breaks in NYC condo Tower

By Robert Frank, CNBC Reporter and Editor
The billionaires paying more than $90 million for top apartments at the new One57 tower in New York have some very special amenities. They get more than 10,000 square feet, 75 floors above Manhattan. They get VIP concierge and doorman services, along with some of the best views in the city.
But they may also get a less publicized benefit: tax breaks of more than $150,000 a year from a program aimed at low-income housing.
According to financial documents obtained by CNBC, One57 may receive a tax ab…

DHCR seeking comments on rent regulations


New York State's housing agency, (D)HCR,  is seeking comments on more rent regulations between now and October 26, 2012. 

Woody Pascal, Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Rent Administration is writing to tenant and owner groups that DHCR is considering new amendments to the

Rent Stabilization CodeTenant Protection Regulations, andRent Control Regulations.The building owners want 

quicker de-regulation of apartments whose rents reach $2500 and whose inhabitants' income is over $200,000 for 2 consecutive years"clarification" of how to oust a tenant by proving the apartment is not the tenant's prime residencemore efficient rent increases through Major Capital Improvements and Maximum Base Rent (for rent controlled tenants);easier standards for improving their property.

Tenants want 
an end to Major Capital Improvement increases once the improvements have been paid forquicker responses to complaints about reduced servicesstronger standards to protect tenants with prefe…

Affordable Housing Gets Back Burner in Chelsea


Some sour on affordable housing as Chelsea Market deal sweetener

Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 12:47 PM CDT 

On September 5, the City Planning Commission (CPC) gave its unanimous approval to a plan which would allow the vertical expansion of Chelsea Market — after the iconic building’s owner, Jamestown Properties, agreed to a number of scalebacks and sweeteners. 

 Most significantly, the CPC further clarified plans — first proposed by Community Board 4 (CB4) during its June 6 full board vote — to build affordable housing somewhere in the CB4 area, preferably in Chelsea. Funding for such an effort would be drawn from money long ago earmarked for the High Line Improvement Fund (HLIF). Seen by some as a palatable local “get” in exchange for the City Council’s approval of Jamestown’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application, other community and tenant advocacy groups are sour on the deal — calling it an unlikely scenario, given the fact that housing …