Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quality Housing Act hearing in the City Council









The City Council is holding a hearing on the Quality Housing Act on Wednesday, Oct. 1st starting at 10 AM. 

New York City Council Members Ritchie Torres and Antonio Reynoso, with local tenants and advocates, introduced the Quality Housing Act on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. This new package of city legislation is designed to preserve affordable housing units around the city through stronger enforcement of the housing maintenance code and stiffer penalties for negligent landlords.

Click here for the full description of the law. 

Tenants Urged Repeal of Urstadt Law

‘We Need a Democratic Senate This Year': City Democrats Fight For Urstadt Repeal

By  | 

It’s a 40-year-old dream that city Democrats hope will come true next year.
Photo by Ross Barkan, showing
Sharon Canns, A.M. Dick Gottfried,
Council Members Jumaane Williams
 and Ben Kallos, Delsenia Glover
 of Tenants & Neighbors,
A.M. Walter Mosley,
and Council Member Vanessa
Gibson
A slew of city council and assembly members rallied at City Hall today to call for a rent freeze on rent-regulated apartments next year and, more ambitiously, the end of a law that has granted Albany great sway over how New York City regulates affordable housing.
“There are people running for governor right now and I do not know where they stand on Urstadt, including Governor Cuomo. I would like to know where he stands on repealing Urstadt and bringing Urstadt back to New York City,” said Councilman Jumaane Williams, the chair of the council’s housing and buildings committee. “I know that there will be some debates coming soon and I hope one of those questions to all of the candidates running for governor, including the current one, is where do you stand on the repeal of the Urstadt Law and bringing home rule to New York City?”
Read the full article  at http://observer.com/2014/09/we-need-a-democrat-senate-this-year-city-democrats-fight-for-urstadt-repeal/#ixzz3EphVbLBu 

Some tenants who spoke:  Clara Perez Joseph of Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Thomas Williams of the Flatbush Tenant Coalition, and Sharon Canns, of the 50 West 93rd Street Tenant Association. 

Additional articles: http://brooklyn.news12.com/news/city-councilman-jumaane-williams-urges-repeal-of-urstadt-law-on-rent-control-and-stabilization-1.7965786

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2014/09/8553642/lawmakers-call-rent-freeze-repeal-urstadt-law

http://observer.com/2014/09/we-need-a-democrat-senate-this-year-city-democrats-fight-for-urstadt-repeal/

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/991071-is-your-rent-too-high-nyc-calls-for-home-rule-on-rent-laws/

http://ditmasparkcorner.com/blog/politics/councilmen-jumaane-williams-mathieu-eugene-join-other-lawmakers-to-call-for-affordable-housing-reform-repeal-of-urstadt-law

Monday, September 29, 2014

Year of the Tenant - Rally Tues. 9/30 at 11 AM, City Hall

2015: YEAR OF THE TENANT
Tuesday, Sept. 30
11:00 am @ City Hall
Rally and Press Conference
RENT FREEZE 2015
Join a coalition of city-wide tenants, advocates and elected officials at a rally
to kick-off the renewed campaign for a rent freeze.
On Oct. 1st the 2014 RGB decisions go into effect.  We will stand together to continue our demand that the Mayor’s Rent Guidelines Board give New Yorkers —
a Rent Freeze in 2015! Let’s make it happen!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

City Council Doubles Landlord Fines for Harassment

  COUNCIL PASSES BILL TO PUBLICLY SHAME LANDLORDS WHO HARASS TENANTS  
City Council News Release - SePTEMBER 23, 2014


Landlords Found Guilty of Tenant Harassment Will Now Be Fined up to $10,000 Per Apartment and Listed by Name as Offenders on HPD Website

Today, the New York City Council will pass legislation by Council Members Margaret Chin and Jumaane D. Williams that will double the maximum fines for landlords found guilty of tenant harassment, and will force those landlords to be publicly listed as offenders on the website of the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Can a stabilized tenant be forced to sell lease in bankruptcy?

NY Times

New York City and State Join Effort to Shield Stabilized Leases

New York City and state officials have thrown their weight behind an elderly widow fighting to keep her rent-stabilized lease from becoming an asset with which to pay off her creditors, arguing that it would undermine the safeguards that both bankruptcy and rent laws are supposed to provide.

In a brief filed jointly this week with the state’s Court of Appeals, lawyers from the state attorney general’s office and New York City’s Law Department said that, under current law, a lease for a rent-regulated apartment is not property that can be sold. Such a lease, they argued, amounts to a public benefit, just like disability or unemployment benefits, that is exempted from bankruptcy estate and cannot be seized as an asset in a personal bankruptcy.  [Website comment: it is more similar to the exemption for a "homestead" - currently valued at $150,000 or less.] 
Click on the link above for the full article, and on "read more" below for Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal's bill to ensure the exemption of a stabilized lease.  



A10186

 S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
       ________________________________________________________________________

                                         10186

                                 I N  A S S E M B L Y

                                    August 25, 2014
                                      ___________

       Introduced  by  COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Rosenthal)
         -- read once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary

       AN ACT to amend the debtor and creditor law, in relation  to  bankruptcy
         exemptions for rent regulated tenancies

         THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
       BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:


1    Section 1. Section 282 of the debtor and creditor law  is  amended  by
    2  adding a new subdivision 4 to read as follows:
    3    4.  BANKRUPTCY  EXEMPTION  FOR  RENT REGULATED TENANCIES. THE DEBTOR'S
    4  INTEREST IN A RESIDENTIAL RENT REGULATED TENANCY, HELD AND  OCCUPIED  BY
    5  THE  DEBTOR FOR A RENT REGULATED UNIT, REGULATED UNDER THE RENT STABILI-
    6  ZATION  LAW  OF  NINETEEN  HUNDRED  SIXTY-NINE,  THE  EMERGENCY   TENANT
    7  PROTECTION  ACT  OF  NINETEEN  SEVENTY-FOUR,  THE EMERGENCY HOUSING RENT
    8  CONTROL LAW, THE LIMITED-PROFIT HOUSING COMPANIES ACT OR THE  CITY  RENT
    9  AND REHABILITATION LAW.
   10    S  2.  This  act  shall take effect immediately and shall apply to the
   11  satisfaction of judgments on or after such date.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Michael McKee's Articles of Interest to Tenant Advocates

Gotham Gazette on Rent Wars

Gouging Begins in Latest Battle Over Rent
 Mayor DeBlasio, Michael McKee, Anderson Fils-Aime
Laws

by David Howard King, Sep 16, 2014

When Mayor Bill de Blasio declared early in his tenure that he would like to see the City regain control of its rent laws from the State many insiders laughed. "Why would we let that go?" asked one legislator. "Control is worth more than one election cycle."
What exactly is it worth to state legislators? According to a New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) study of campaign donations during the last state-level campaign cycle of 2011-2012, real estate and construction interests gave $7,523,955 to legislators and were the top donors of any business sector to each legislative conference.