Friday, November 20, 2020

McKee's Media Noc. 20, 2020

 


EXCERPTED
ROCHESTER EVICTIONS
WHAM-TV: After physically blocking eviction, CityWide Tenant Union demands Mayor Lovely Warren stop all evictions in Rochester (VIDEO)
WHEC-TV: Rochester tenants, housing advocates call for end to evictions during pandemic (VIDEO)

RENT STRIKES
City Limits: A look at rent strikes in NYC, as housing relief legislation lags

CITY SUES BKLYN LANDLORD
New York Post: NYC sues Brooklyn landlords who tried to evict tenants during pandemic

STATE BANS SUITS AGAINST FREE SPEECH BY TENANTS & OTHERS
Ryan Tarinelli: New state law strengthens & expands statute curbing SLAPP lawsuits (New York Law Journal)

ZONING / DEVELOPMENT
Christine Chung: New York City Council candidates split on Flushing waterfront development plan (The City)

ENVIRONMENT, COVID, AND CITY HOUSING
Christopher Werth: Pandemic has thrown a wrench into NYC's enforcement of lead paint poisoning prevention law (Gothamist/WNYC) (AUDIO)
Greg Smith: NYCHA boss says OK to independent study of how aging ventilation systems affect COVID spread in public housing (The City)
Sam Raskin: De Blasio signs bill requiring carbon refit for some rent-regulated buildings (New York Post)
Clayton Guse: MTA plots steep NYC subway, bus cuts amid COVID-19 budget crunch (Daily News)
Jim Brennan: The state must step in now to avoid a mass transit apocalypse (Gotham Gazette OpEd)
Richard Ravitch: The federal government must provide financial aid to states and municipalities (New York Times OpEd)

BUDGET AND ETHICS
Karen DeWitt: December session of state legislature has not been ruled out (NPR) (AUDIO)
Joe Mahoney: $25K raise will make Andrew Cuomo the highest-paid governor in the U.S. (Niagara Gazette)
Geoff Herbert: Cuomo says he will not take $25,000 pay raise in 2021 (Syracuse Post Standard)
Chris Bragg: After approving Cuomo's book, ethics commissioners quash greater scrutiny (Albany Times Union)
Samar Khurshid: Kallos proposes City legislation to tighten oversight of independent expenditures (Gotham Gazette)
Chris Bragg: Fears of gridlock coming true for new state redistricting panel (Albany Times Union)
Zach Williams: Several Assembly Committee chairs are open; Speaker Heastie is expected to appoint more women & people of color (City & State)

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

McKee's Media - Nov. 11, 2020

 

ARTICLES OF INTEREST TO TENANT ADVOCATES

Upstate Tenants Protest Evictions

Albany Times Union letter to editor: Small landlord says evictions are not the solution to pandemic crisis
CBS6 Albany: Tenants protest resumption of evictions outside Troy marshal's office
Matt Hunter: Citizen Action & VOCAL NY members protest against evictions in Troy (Spectrum News) (VIDEO)

Elections

Chris Bragg: Outstanding absentee ballots in contested state senate races offer clues to final outcomes (Albany Times Union)

Samar Khurshid: Brooklyn, Staten Island Democrats look to absentee ballots to overcome election night deficits (Gotham Gazette)

Shant Shahrigian: Candidates for 5 New York City Council seats start sprint to special elections (Daily News)

Denis Slattery: Gianaris proposes legislation to allow earlier counting of absentee ballots (Daily News)

Denis Slattery: Green & Libertarian political parties face loss of their automatic ballot lines as the Working Families Party avoids the same fate (Daily News)

Emma Fitzsimmons: What Biden's win could mean for NYC: 5 takeaways (New York Times)

State Budget
Danny Katch: Albany's failure to tax the rich is leading to a health care disaster as second COVID wave looms (The Indypendent)

State bans frivolous lawsuits meant to punish free speech

Edward McKinley: Cuomo signs Hoylman-Weinstein bill to curb SLAPP lawsuits designed to chill free speech (Albany Times Union)

New York Times editorial: New York's new anti-SLAPP legislation is long overdue

Miscellaneous
Gabriel Sandovar: Bronx pastor bargained for a new church in selling his congregation's land, accuses developer of bad faith (The City)



Saturday, November 7, 2020

BIDEN WON! and McKee's Media November 7, 2020

 BIDEN  AND HARRIS WON!








ARTICLES OF INTEREST TO TENANT ADVOCATES:


EVICTIONS
Michael DeMasi: Apartment evictions resume in Albany County despite supposed pandemic protections (Albany Business Review)
Allison Dikanovic: Clarification on eviction moratorium & housing court procedures for NYC tenants (The City)

STATE ELECTION
Morgan McKay: State senate Democrats predict that absentee ballots will favor some of their candidates who were behind on Election Day (NY State of Politics) (VIDEO)
Ryan Tarinelli: Key races for state senate will come down to absentee ballots (New York Law Journal)
Samar Khurshid: The state of play in the state senate as preparations continue for counting of absentee ballots (Gotham Gazette)
Amandra Fries: New York State Legislature leans further left as DSA candidates win new seats (Albany Times Union)
Clifford Michel: How the Trumpian red wave gave south Brooklyn & Staten Island GOP a lifeline (The City)
STATE ECONOMY
Anna Gronewald: NYS financial update predicts $15 billion revenue loss (Politico NY)
Nick Reisman: Cuomo counts on Biden to make deal on coronavirus aid (NY State of Politics)
Karen DeWitt: With elections over, NYS must resolve a multi-billion dollar deficit (NPR) (AUDIO)
Jeff Andrews: 11 NYC infrastructure projects President Biden should fund (Curbed)
Erik Engquist: Four things Biden could do for NYC real estate that Trump didn't (The Real Deal)
Orion Jones: Prospect of divided government rallies real estate stocks (The Real Deal)
Bloomberg News: Stock market surges on day after election, adding $57.4 billion in wealth to the 167 U.S. billionaires
Reuters: Airbnb to make IPO filing public next week despite COVID-19 surge




Thursday, November 5, 2020

McKee's Media - Nov. 4, 2020

  


ARTICLES OF INTEREST TO TENANT ADVOCATES


STATE RENT RELIEF AND PENDING STATE RENT LAW

The Real Deal: NYS denied rent relief to 57,000 applicants, has distributed only $23 million of $100 million available
Amanda Fries: More than 60 percent of applicants for state rent relief were 

denied (Albany Times Union)

Georgia Kromrei: Bill that would give landlords a hard deadline to make court-ordered repairs awaits Gov. Cuomo's signature (The Real Deal)

THE PANDEMIC AND REAL ESTATE

The Real Deal: Predatory equity outfits raise funds to scoop up distressed properties, but still looking for distress
Nick Reisman: How the 2020 vote & the NYS budget crisis intersect (NY State of Politics)
Hugh Son: High earners in finance & tech explain why they left "the world's greatest city" (CNBC)
Boston Review: COVID-19 provides all the more reason to tax the rich
Daily News OpEd: Small property owners call for permanent end of tax lien sales
Brick Underground: Some NYC landlords offer three months of free rent to fill apartments
The Real Deal: NYC commercial property tax delinquencies jump 50 percent over last year

U.S. SUPREME COURT AND RENT LAWS
Leonard Goodman: The real reason Democrats did not stop the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett (Chicago Reader/Portside)
Kathryn Brenzel: U.S. Supreme Court shift could favor landlords in rent law challenge (The Real Deal)
D.D. Guttenplan: The U.S. Supreme Court has never been on the side of working people, but has been a reliable servant of money & power (The Nation)

STATE BUDGET
New York Post: Cuomo waiting until after election before taking budget action

Thursday, October 22, 2020

McKee's Media - Oct. 22, 2020 - Early voting and articles of interest

 



EARLY VOTING IN NEW YORK STATE BEGINS SATURDAY!
Visit the Voting Information Center for information about:
  • Early voting in person (October 24--November 1)
  • Your polling site for early voting (by county)
  • Voting by mail (mail your absentee ballot soon)
  • Check your voter registration
  • How to become a poll worker
Make a plan to vote. If you plan to vote by mail, you must request an absentee ballot by October 27, but it is better not to wait. You can request an absentee ballot online & it only takes seconds. Waiting until the last minute to request an absentee ballot is unwise. Daily News editorial: Do not delay in requesting an absentee ballot: applying online only takes seconds


However you vote, Tenants PAC urges you to cast your ballot for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on the Working Families Party ballot line. The WFP needs at least 150,000 votes for president on its line in order to maintain its automatic ballot line going forward; this is three times the old requirement of 50,000 votes.
Sign the Vote WFP pledge here and share widely with your friends.

ARTICLES OF INTEREST TO TENANT ADVOCATES:


Georgia Kromrei: Cuomo announces extension of moratorium on commercial evictions & ban on foreclosures through the end of the year (The Real Deal)


Monday, October 12, 2020

McKee's Media - Oct. 12, 2020


ARTICLES OF INTEREST TO TENANT ADVOCATES

(excerpted from Michael McKee's TenantsPAC email)

EVICTIONS RESUME

Steve Wishnia: Evictions are happening in upstate New York; advocates call for a "true" moratorium (The Tenant) (VIDEO of news conference)

Georgia Kromrei: Administrative judge says evictions can resume October 11 (The Real Deal)

Georgia Kromrei: Census Bureau says 3.7 million tenants could lose their homes due to eviction (The Real Deal)

William Glaberson: In tiny courts in New York State, abuses of law and power (New York Times)  (An article from 2006 which is still relevant now that evictions are starting upstate)

Sylvan Lane: Advocates urge federal government to provide housing aid as eviction cliff looms (The Hill)

CITY COUNCIL

Daniel Cohen: Affordable housing is the key to New York's recovery (Gotham Gazette OpEd) - Cohen is a candidate for City Council. 

Molly Crane-Newman: Bill in New York City Council would bar landlords from conducting criminal record checks on prospective tenants (Daily News)

Greg Smith: New York City Council members slam NYCHA for failure to fix exhaust ventilation systems, creating a COVID health emergency (The City)

PROSECUTING LANDLORDS?Jarrett Murphy: Manhattan D.A. candidate Diana Florence wants to prosecute landlords who game the rent regulation system (City Limits)

ZONING
Emma Fitzsimmons: De Blasio announces proposed upzoning for SoHo & NoHo, triggering fight over density & affordability (New York Times)


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

McKee's Media 9/29/2020

 ARTICLES OF INTEREST TO TENANT ADVOCATES

Tenant Safe Harbor Act will be effective at least till Jan. 2020



Thursday, September 17, 2020

McKee's Media - Sept. 17 2020

 ARTICLES OF INTEREST TO TENANT ADVOCATES

Affordable housing development

Landlords can't go after personal finances of small business owners

Homeless in Hotels - NIMBYism  (Mayor has since paused moving them out of the Lucerne)
Nikita Stewart: Caving to NIMBY protesters, de Blasio announces he will move homeless men from Upper West Side hotel back to shelters (New York Times)
Shant Shahrigian: Elected officials, UWS residents slam de Blasio over plan to move homeless men out of Lucerne Hotel (Daily News)
Janaki Chadha: De Blasio reaps public scorn, internal dissent over his caving in to NIMBY protesters (Politico NY)
Daily News: Homeless musical chairs: De Blasio boots disabled from midtown hotel to make way for men being moved from Upper West Side hotel
Janaki Chadha: Legal Aid Society to sue de Blasio over moving residents with disabilities out of midtown hotel (Politico NY)
Daily News editorial: By caving in to NIMBY protesters on Upper West Side, de Blasio makes a bad situation worse

Rent Drop in NYC (not in poor neighborhoods)
Robert Frank: Manhattan rental market plunges, leaving 15,000 empty apartments in August (CNBC)
Rachel Holliday Smith: What rent drop? Unlike Manhattan, listed prices on vacant apartments aren't budging in low income neighborhoods where COVID-19 hit hardest (The City)
Oshrat Carmiel: Manhattan rental supply soars, creating problems for landlords to find new tenants (Bloomberg News) (VIDEO)
Erin Hudson: Manhattan rental vacancy rate hits the 5 percent mark (The Real Deal)
Emily Davenport: Some NYC neighborhoods saw purchase price drops in August (amny)
Georgia Kromrei: Market-rate rental payments nationwide down to lowest rate since start of pandemic (The Real Deal)

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Information for Tenants during the pandemic

The NYC Comptroller's office has created a website with resources for tenants and others.

The state courts are closed except for emergencies (like a vacate order or the landlord or your roommate locking you out of your apartment, or the ceiling caving in).  And landlords are barred from filing eviction proceedings until the pandemic is over. 

However, under current law, tenants will still owe the rent for this period. 

State Senator Brian Kavanagh has proposed a "rental assistance voucher" program in a bill.  This would pay the money to landlords for poorer tenants whose income is affected by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.  

Please urge your state legislatures and Governor Cuomo to get it passed. 

Thursday, March 12, 2020

McKee's Media (excerpted) - 3/12/2020

ARTICLES OF INTEREST TO TENANT ADVOCATES:

END MCIs
ANTI-WAREHOUSING BILL
MANHATTAN DA: INVESTIGATING LANDLORD FRAUD?
UPSTATE RENT REGULATION 
ZONING




Queens Daily Eagle: Real estate industry floods Donovan Richards campaign for Queens Borough President with contributions

NON-PROFIT DONORS MAY BECOME PUBLIC
City & State: Defeated in court, Andrew Cuomo again floats bill to require nonprofits to make public disclosure of their donors

Brendan Lyons: Lawmakers seek to bypass Cuomo, win constitutional amendment to replace weak JCOPE ethics agency (Albany Times Union)




Kingston Daily Freeman: Assembly Member Kevin Cahill doubts accuracy of study that found Kingston vacancy rate exceeded 5 percent




City & State: Last Week's Winners & Losers
https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/winners-losers/winners-losers/weeks-biggest-winners-losers.html-5

Bill Mahoney: Despite Cuomo's statement that U.S. Census is a priority, state has not yet released outreach funds from last year's budget (Politico NY)
https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2020/03/07/state-slow-to-start-its-census-prep-efforts-1265981

City Limits: Emergency grants can help stop homelessness -- if you have a lawyer
https://citylimits.org/2020/03/11/emergency-grants-can-help-stop-homelessness-if-you-have-a-lawyer/

Patch: Three-way race for Brooklyn state senate seat heats up
https://patch.com/new-york/prospectheights/three-way-race-brooklyn-state-senate-seat-amps  

Erin Hudson: Brokers can charge fees at least until June as state asks for extension to respond to real estate industry's lawsuit (The Real Deal)
https://therealdeal.com/2020/03/06/three-more-months-in-limbo-broker-fee-ban-lawsuit-delayed/

Matthew Haag: Tenant advocates say brokers & landlords are violating state's new rent laws (New York Times)
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/04/nyregion/nyc-rent-laws-broker-fees.html

Rich Calder: Bronx D.A. investigates anti-tenant City Council Member Mark Gjonaj for misuse of campaign funds (New York Post)
https://nypost.com/2020/03/09/bronx-district-attorneys-office-probing-councilman-mark-gjonaj/

Amanda Luz Henning Santiago: Mark Gjonaj's many unflattering headlines (City & State)
https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/politics/news-politics/councilman-mark-gjonajs-many-unflattering-headlines.html

Walter Mosley & Alex Fennell: 421-a tax subsidy fuels gentrification (Brooklyn Eagle OpEd)
https://brooklyneagle.com/articles/2020/03/04/opinion-this-state-tax-break-helps-fuel-brooklyns-gentrification/ 

Wall Street Journal: Master plan to develop Sunnyside Yards envisions $14.4 billion deck over the train yards to make room for 12,000 affordable apartments
https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-queens-project-to-include-12-000-affordable-apartments-11583244000

Mike Jaccarino: "There's nobody left to lay off." How the once-great tabloid New York Daily News sank into decrepitude (Vanity Fair)
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/03/how-onetime-tabloid-king-new-york-daily-news-sank-into-decrepitude

The Intercept: Working Families Party endorses Bernie Sanders for U.S. president
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/09/working-families-party-endorses-bernie-sanders-president/

Common Dreams: Bernie Sanders crushes Trump by 18 points among independent voters in national poll
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/11/sanders-crushes-trump-18-points-among-independent-voters-new-national-general

Danny Katch: Can Bernie Sanders make the Democratic Party a Democratic Party? (The Indypendent)
https://indypendent.org/2020/02/can-bernie-sanders-make-the-democratic-party-a-democratic-party/  

Mother Jones/ProPublica: The benefits of being Joe Biden's brother
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/02/the-benefits-of-being-joe-bidens-brother/  

Nathan Robinson: Democrats, you really do not want to nominate Joe Biden (Current Affairs)
(A long but thoroughly documented & reasoned article about why Joe Biden would be a disastrous Democratic nominee, and why Democrats should support Bernie Sanders)
https://www.currentaffairs.org/2020/03/democrats-you-really-do-not-want-to-nominate-joe-biden/

Albany Times Union: A century after women's suffrage, state legislature is one-third female
https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/A-century-after-women-s-suffrage-female-15111289.php 

Joseph Spector: Coronavirus scams: How to protect yourself from being ripped off (Journal News)
https://www.lohud.com/story/news/politics/2020/03/05/coronavirus-scams-how-protect-yourself-being-ripped-off/4964505002/ 

City & State: Everything New Yorkers need to know about the 2020 U.S. Census
https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/policy/policy/everything-new-yorkers-need-know-about-2020-census.html

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

End Major Capital Improvement increases!

Will Albany end MCI increases?

Come to 50 W. 97th Street's Community Room on

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2020 at 8 PM to learn how we can make it happen. 

WHY should Albany end Major Capital Improvement increases?


Some highlights:

Landlords have plenty of other reasons to improve buildings (other than collecting MCI increases).
  • Energy efficiency saves landlords money.  So new boilers, roofs, windows, plumbing, electrical wiring, etc., can save landlords $$$.
  • Preserved or increased value of their property.  Why should tenants pay for that?
  • Legal obligation to provide tenants with safe, habitable apartments and common areas. NYC ordered that our balconies and facade be maintained, for example.  (The rest of us don't need to get paid to obey the law; why should landlords?)  
The Rent Guidelines Board already calculates in the costs of maintaining a rental building when it sets the rent increases (if any) each year. Why should landlords be compensated twice?

MCI increases benefit mainly large landlords. From 2000 to 2014, 70% of MCI applications received by the State's housing agency came from landlords who owned more than 150 units.

It won't hurt the construction industry since MCI jobs are a tiny slice of the pie. In 2014, MCI costs were only 3/10ths of one percent of the total amount spent on construction.  So they won't affect construction jobs. 

https://www.housingjusticeforall.org/mcis

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

McKee's Media

 

ARTICLES OF INTEREST TO TENANT ADVOCATES:

RENT REGULATION DOESN'T MAKE HOUSING CRISIS WORSE.
PEOPLE v. BIG DEVELOPMENT
J-51