Sunday, July 14, 2019

Tremendous Victory in Albany: 2019 Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act

After years and then finally months and weeks and days of tremendous pressure by tenants, and a change in party-control of the NYS Senate (yay, elections!), we now have the 

The new law will change many things state-wide for tenants.  Instead of making it easier for landlords to replace lower-paying tenants with higher-paying tenants (a great investment tactic for hedge funds), the new law makes it easier for tenants to keep their homes.   The summary below is not complete and is not legal advice. (See some other summaries here and here.)  In addition, the rent laws no longer have an automatic "sunset" date.  They are permanent, which may be why landlords are filing suit in federal court to undo the rent law changes

Click on "read more" for a comparison chart of some of the changes between what we had and what is in the new 

In addition, read explanations about it 

Monday, May 20, 2019

McKee's Media, 5/20/2019


Sunday, May 5, 2019

Protest landlords who abuse housing court - Wed., May 8 at noon

The Right to Counsel Coalition has organized a rally to protest Stellar Management as one of the "worst evictors" :  taking hundreds of tenants to court in the zip codes that have Right to Counsel for low-income tenants.  This includes our zip code: 10025.  

Because tenants were generally represented, the majority were not evicted.  Bringing hundreds of cases that Stellar could only win if tenants were NOT represented suggests an abuse of the Housing Court system. 


at NOON 
in front of Stellar's main office at 156 William Street 
in lower Manhattan.

Take any train downtown to the Fulton Street station in Manhattan. 
William Street is one of the exits from the station. 

Tell Albany: End MCIs and Protect ALL Tenants

MAY 14, 2019 - Take a free bus trip to Albany to let them know:  we need 

  • an end to inflated apartment improvement and "major capital improvement" building increases and 
  • protection for all tenants, not just those lucky enough to be rent stabilized. 

Make your voice heard!  The rent laws expire on June 15th, and Governor Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Heastie, and Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins need to hear from each of us.  (Click here for a draft letter.)

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.  

May 2, 2019: Testify in person or by email to the NYS Assembly's Standing Committee on Housing.  

 **Click here to view public hearing notice** with details. 

Get on the bus for Albany on May 14th: 

Write letters / email: 

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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

How is the shutdown affecting federally-subsidized tenants?

The National Housing Law Project has put out a report explaining that while  many tenants in federally-subsidized housing are protected during the federal shutdown by long-term contracts and leases,  those whose contracts or leases expire during this shutdown are vulnerable.  

The report does not discuss how a loss of food stamps or other federal subsidies unrelated to housing will affect tenants' ability to pay their rent.  

Creative Commons Generic 2.0
We need a state and city government response to this!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Make #TenantTuesday happen!

Join the Real Rent Reform Campaign's #TenantTuesday social media campaign. T

If you are lobbying, doing an action against a landlord,or having a tenants meeting on a Tuesday please use the hashtag #TenantTuesday to put pressure on Albany and build excitement around our campaign. 

Housing Justice for All - Support Universal Rent Regulatoin

Housing Justice for All is the program of the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance.  Its program includes

  • Extending existing rent protections statewide - not just in counties of 1 million or more, and not just in buildings of 6 units or more. 
  • Ending loopholes that shrink affordable housing, including:  repealing vacancy decontrol and vacancy bonuses, ending permanent Major Capital Improvement and Individual Apartment Improvement increases, and basing future rent increases on existing preferential rents.
  • Extending rent regulation to unregulated tenants, at least by guaranteeing a renewal lease except for behavior that would get any tenant ousted.
Sign its pledge!