Sunday, April 14, 2019

Time to Act!

The rent laws will be renewed this June in Albany.  
They don't just happen in a void.  The landlord lobby 
is out in force, and tenants have to be louder.  So urge 
our elected officials to support Housing Justice for All.  
  • Write to your elected officials, including Gov. CuomoSpeaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie, and to your State Senator and Assembly Member. 
  • Tell Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell what is on your mind at his April 15th Housing Justice Panel at PS 75 (735 West End Ave. at 95th St.) and
  • Join other tenants on a lobbying trip to Albany on May 14, 2019.  
Given a Democratic State Senate and a Democratic Assembly (and Governor), we actually have a chance of getting these passed:
· Protect market-rate (currently un-regulated) · tenants all over NY State - and not just in NYC, Westchester, Rockland, and Nassau Counties.  This includes a guaranteed renewal lease unless the tenant seriously violates the lease.
· Eliminate ways landlords raise the rent beyond · what many tenants can pay, including:
o Ending the MCI surcharge. (Right now it's a permanent increase in the rent.)
o Ending Individual Apartment Improvement (IAI) surcharges that raise rents in both vacant and occupied apartments.
o Ending vacancy increases that landlords get just because an apartment becomes vacant.
· End vacancy decontrol (vacancy deregulation)
Tell our legislators and the Governor to pass them!

Gov Cuomo has announced he will not support roll backs of MCI increases, and Assembly Speaker Heastie wants to drop protection for market tenants from the listThey need to hear from us.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Listen to what landlords actually say - rather than their "poor me" campaign

Ben Dulchin of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development has posted an interesting article on ANHD's blog: What Do Landlords Talk About When They Talk About Rent Increase Loopholes?  

"Individual Apartment Improvement" rent increases are how landlords hope to "add value" to rental apartments.  The unspoken but necessary step: pushing out the low-rent tenants.

An excerpt is below, but it's worth reading the whole blogpost. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

McKee's Media - March 23, 2019

Denis Slattery: Advocates arrested in civil disobedience action demanding that Cuomo include funds for Housing Stability Support (Daily News)
Denis Slattery: Members of NY Congressional delegation urge Cuomo to include HSS funding in state budget (Daily News)

Spectrum Hudson Valley News: Kingston Common Council begins hearings on housing crisis

Alison Dell, Ximena Garnica, Michael Kozek, Michael McKee, McDavid Moore & Zefrey Throwell: Getting to truth, and solidarity, on Loft Law reform (Gotham Gazette OpEd)

Matthew Haag: Amazon's tax breaks were big. Hudson Yard subsidies are much bigger (New York Times)
New York Times editorial: A pied-à-terre tax will bring revenue New York needs

WCBS-TV: 41 percent of New York City residents say high cost of living will force them to move out of the city within 5 years (VIDEO)

City Limits: Two Bridges neighborhood roiled by mega development, displacement

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Moral March for Housing - April 11, 2019 at 5:30 PM - Meet in Harlem

100 New Yorkers are evicted every day.
It's now or never for housing justice.
We need Universal Rent Control!

Join Community, Faith and Labor Leaders 
in a 

  • Expand rent regulation to every county and many more tenants
  • Pass "good cause eviction"  (non-regulated tenants get a renewal lease and can only be evicted for good cause)
  • Eliminate loopholes like the vacancy bonus, vacancy decontrol, preferential rent and MCIs/IAIs (permanent rent increases for improvements to the whole building or to individual apartments). 

WHEN: Thursday, April 11 at 5:30 PM (doors open at 5 PM)

WHERE:  Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 W. 138th St., the Reverent Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, Pastor

Click here for the flyer in English and Spanish.  

Friday, February 15, 2019

McKee's Media - Feb. 15, 2019

Tenants' PAC

Konrad Pulitzer: Progressive lawmakers in several states take aim at landlords with rent control, tax proposals (Wall Street Journal)
WIVB-TV: Akron mobile home residents continue rent strike against out-of-town owner (VIDEO)


Thursday, February 7, 2019

Market tenants have better chance for re-stabilizing apartments - especially in Stellar buildings

New court decisions mean you might be able to get back into rent stabilization

Some things have change that could make it easier for market tenants to get their apartments back into rent stabilization - even if they've been market-rate for over 4 years.  

1.      There is a new on-line portal, NYS Rent Connect  ( for easily getting your apartment’s rent history.

2.      Two recent court decisions have found that Stellar Management  wildly exaggerated its costs for renovating and reconfiguring its apartments, so the costs were not enough to legally take the apartment out of rent regulation​.  The earlier decision is Rossman v. Windermere by a mid-level state court, which awarded punitive damages to the tenant.  The newer decision is 
Amwest Realty Associates LLC v. Michael Sargeant and Jonathan Saballos, 171 W. 81st St.​ 

3.      The most recent court decision found that Stellar Management intentionally inflat​ed its costs and awarded the tenants triple damages.  An intentional inflation of costs could be fraud.  Where there is fraud, a tenant can get around the 4-year statute of limitations for getting an apartment back into rent regulation.

​If you're interested in pursuing this after getting your apartment’s rent history, please consult an attorney about this.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

NYS creates 1-stop portal for rent-stabilized tenant issues

NY Curbed


New York state creates one-stop portal for rent-stabilized tenant issues

Find your rent history, submit a complaint, and more—all in one place

If you’re a New Yorker living in a rent-stabilized apartment, chances are you’ve struggled with finding a necessary piece of paperwork—the form for requesting your apartment’s rent history, for example, or the right complaint if your landlord is dragging their heels on renewing your lease. In the past, those forms were scattered throughout the website for the Department of Homes and Community Renewal, New York state’s agency that handles rent regulation.
But no longer: Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that the state has created a new portal, called NYS Rent Connect, that’s a one-stop shop for tenants of rent-regulated apartments (and their landlords) to deal with any potential issues that may arise with those apartments.