Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tenants win RENT FREEZE from RGB: NO increase for 1-year lease renewal; 2% for 2-year lease renewal

NY Times

New York City Board Votes to Freeze Regulated Rents on One-Year Leases

Tenants chanted before the city’s Rent Guidelines Board voted on Monday at the Great Hall at Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in Manhattan.

The board that regulates rents for more than one million rent-stabilized apartments in New York City voted on Monday night for a freeze on one-year leases, an unprecedented move in its 46-year history.

The 7-to-2 vote by the city’s Rent Guidelines Board was an acknowledgment of the precarious situation of many tenants whose incomes have not kept pace with housing costs. It also was the first decision on rent levels by a nine-member board appointed in its entirety by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The board, one of the few tools the mayor has to directly influence the cost of housing in the city, also voted to increase rents on two-year leases by 2 percent, a historic low.
The mayor refrained from publicly calling for a rent freeze as he had done last year. But his housing plan aims at building new affordable housing while staving off the loss of existing affordable units — either through rent increases or the removal of stabilized apartments from regulation.

McKee's media 6/30/2015


New York Times: Will the NYC rent board vote to freeze or roll back rents this evening?

Daily News: Democrats will revisit rent laws in 2017 if they take control of state senate next year

New York Post: Despite claims he tried to help tenants, Cuomo sided with GOP leader in negotiations

Daily News: Cuomo calls Big Ugly “best rent reform package in history”

New York Times editorial: U.S. Supreme Court upholds “disparate impact” provisions of Fair Housing Act

New York Times editorial: Enforcement of U.S. Fair Housing Act essential to counter increasing racial segregation

Steve Wishnia on Cuomo’s failure to stop the loss of affordable housing (Gothamist)

City & State: Assembly Dems happy with Heastie’s style despite disappointing rent deal

Daily News: NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer slams Albany for lousy rent deal

City & State on the Big Ugly bill that renewed rent & coop laws for four years

New York Observer: Schneiderman slams Albany for failure to enact ethics, campaign finance reforms

Wall Street Journal: Tainted by scandal, real estate lobby nevertheless retains it clout in Albany

Daily News: 126 elected officials push wage board for $15 minimum wage for fast food workers

Crain’s Insider: De Blasio wins tweaks to 421-a program

Capital New York: Newly empowered by Albany’s Big Ugly bill, Cuomo officiates at same-gender wedding

City & State: Last Week’s Winners & Losers

Journal News: How Senators & Assembly members voted on the Big Ugly

Daily News: Cuomo’s partner Sandra Lee might require additional surgery

Crain’s Insider: Big Ugly renews tax breaks for lower Manhattan businesses

Bob Hardt: Cuomo should stop the “anonymous” attacks on de Blasio (New York 1 News)

New York Post: City budget increases City Council member item spending to $57 million

New York Times: Sampson threatened to “take out” cooperating witnesses against him

The Real Deal: Will NYC’s uber-luxury condo bubble burst?

Gothamist: Map shows how Airbnb has transformed your neighborhood

Big City: Stonewall Inn landmarked for historical significance, not for architecture (New York Times)

Michael McKee

Tenants Political Action Committee

McKee's media 6/29/2015


Gothamist: Tenants protest Andrew Cuomo’s rotten rent deal

New York Observer: Jumaane Williams joins tenants in blasting Andrew Cuomo

Buffalo News: Final Big Ugly bill still tentative as Assembly Dems seek stronger rent protections

Capital New York: Assembly Dems seek improvements to “framework” deal

Capital New York: Heastie says the framework is not a final deal

Community Service Society: How new rent deal will affect neighborhoods

Capital Tonight: Ava Farkas & Judith Goldiner interviewed on Capital Tonight (VIDEO)

New York Observer: De Blasio does not want to talk about Albany, until it’s done

Albany Times Union: Cuomo says $250M for private schools is new; Cardinal says state has owed $$ for several years

Capital New York: Worried about support among Dems, Cuomo makes a phone call

New York Times: Public housing apartments sit empty, sometimes for years

New York Post: Sampson claims entrapment as his corruption trial begins

Albany Times Union: Both houses hold sales tax extensions hostage

Crain’s Insider: Sunset clauses create periodic chaos in Albany

New York Times: Acrimony between Cuomo & de Blasio made session anemic

Gotham Gazette on Albany dysfunction & end-of-session maneuvers

State of Politics: NAACP calls for changes in property tax cap

New York Post: Pedro Espada still in prison as court upholds his conviction

Crain’s editorial: As Cuomo’s power wanes. Albany returns to the bad old days

WNYC/City Limits: NYC’s water supply (where it comes from, why it is so expensive)

Michael McKee
Tenants Political Action Committee

Tenants won RGB Rent Freeze! 1 year renewal: NO INCREASE. 2 year renewal: 2% increase

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tentative rent law deal doesn't do much for tenants

The rent deal proposed by Gov. Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Heastie, and Senate Majority Leader Flanagan does very little for tenants.  If you want more, contact Gov. Cuomo, our State Senator Bill Perkins and our Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell to vote NO on the "conceptual deal."

What tenants need
What Cuomo is offering
Vacancy deregulation
(motivating landlords to oust regulated tenants, losing affordable apartments forever)

Repeal of vacancy deregulation
Rent at which vacant apartments can be de-regulated goes up from $2500 to $2700. 
MCI and IAI increases
Major Capital Improvement and Individual Apartment Improvement rent increases (now permanent)
Limit the increases to end when the cost of the improvement has been re-paid.

Reduce the permanent increase by 1/3.
Vacancy bonus
Right now, landlords get a 20% rent increase just because an apartment has become vacant. That motivates them to kick out tenants to get to the vacancy decontrol threshold.

Cut the bonus.

No change
Rent law renewal term
As long as vacancy deregulation is in effect, we’re losing affordable apartments.

One year renewal

Four years
Preferential rent
Tenants renting at below the legal regulated rent (LRR) can be hit with LRR increases on lease renewal.

Close the loophole

No change

Monday, June 22, 2015

Michael McKee's media collection June 17, 2015

State of Politics: Keith Wright introduces eight-month extender of rent laws

Keep the pressure on Gov. Cuomo. Don't let up now!

Governor Cuomo is happy to blame the State Senate and even the Assembly for the failure to renew and strengthen the rent laws so far.  (Even the landlords want them renewed;  the tenants want them strengthened.)  Click on the image for the text. 

518-474-8390 ext. 3, and email 
(even if you've done it recently).