Thursday, February 8, 2024

One down, 4 tenant demands to go

Before the December 31, 2023 deadline, Governor Hochul signed the bill to cap rents in Frankensteined apartments, imposed penalties for failure to register stabilized apartments, clarify succession rights, and define fraud.  (S.2980, as amended by S.8011.)

But tenants need more!   Our Homes, Our Power - the 2024 campaign of Housing Justice for All  has bills affecting for areas:

  • Market-rate tenants need the "Good Cause" bill passed so they can count on renewal leases without exorbitant rent increases. 
  • All New Yorkers need more "social housing" like the Mitchell-Lama program. T
  • Tenants whose buildings are being sold need first option to purchase (with support from non-profits) to keep their homes affordable. 
  • Poor tenants need Housing Access Vouchers.
Let's get to work!  Contact your local tenant association or Housing Justice for All - or one of its more than 80 member groups

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Urge Gov. Hochul to sign 4 tenant bills - Dec. 2023!

Spend just 5 minutes to urge the governor to sign 4 bills that have passed the state legislature!

Governor Hochul just has until December 31st to sign four bills that will end Frankensteining and make it easier to keep rent stabilized units available and affordable at honest rents by known landlords.  So there's no time to lose.

 It's easy: 

1. Pick a date and time: Just click here to choose a time convenient to you.  (We have 5-minute slots, but the calls usually take under 2 minutes.)   


2. Call!  Click on the link provided on the chart to call through your computer.  OR call Gov. Hochul directly: 518-474-8390.  

Here's what you say when you call: 


Hi. I'm a New York City resident from [your neighborhood], and I urge Governor Hochul to make this a happy holiday for all tenants by signing 

S2980, S2943, S1684, and S995 now!  

These bills will keep rent stabilized apartments available and affordable statewide at honest rents, with known landlords.  Thank you. 


3. Note on the chart who you spoke to and their response. 

 It should take you roughly 5 minutes, start-to-finish!


Monday, September 18, 2023

Call Gov. Hochul to fight landlord greed & secrecy!

CALL GOV. HOCHUL TODAY to sign 4 tenant bills into law. 

Call the Governor: Fight Landlord Greed and Secrecy!

Top of Form

In 2019, New York’s tenant movement passed some of the most progressive pro-tenant legislation in our state’s history. But since then, landlords have tried to find new ways to unfairly raise rents and hide behind a veil of secrecy.

Last year, the legislature took important steps to close these loopholes and increase transparency for tenants. Now they're waiting for Governor Hochul to sign them into law.

Taken together, these four bills:

·       make it harder for landlords to hide behind secretive shell companies.

·       fix how the state calculates rent overcharges

·       decrease “Frankensteining” (combining vacant rent stabilized apartments in order to jack up rents)

·       clear up rules around tenant succession and landlord fraud

·       make it easier for upstate cities to opt into rent stabilization

Governor Hochul needs to hear from you now! 

Tell the Governor to sign all four bills today.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Just say "NAY" on bill to undermine the 2019 housing law

 Go to and click NAY.

Sen. Leroy Comrie's bill would eat into the 2019 tenant protection law, ending
  • the caps on IAIs,
  • the ban on longevity increases, and even
  • vacancy deregulation.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Big win on MCIs!

 DHCR must determine "depreciability" for façade repair MCI

If rent stabilized tenants in your building are facing a Major Capital Improvement (MCI) rent increase because of façade repair, this State Supreme Court decision might help you.  

The state law requires that to qualify as an MCI, work must "depreciable" under the federal Internal Revenue Code. The court ruled that façade repair is no exception - despite what the regulations say.  So the state's Division of Housing and Community Renewal must first determine whether the work done would be depreciable under the IRC.  Regular repair work is NOT depreciable.  To be depreciable, the work must

  • be performed for the first time
  • create something entirely new, and
  • be of significant scale (for example affecting at least 80% of the building). 

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenant Association and its lawyers, Collins Dobkin & Miller, won this case - although it might be appealed. This is from the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenant Association newsletter:

Tenants get money back— court agrees with TA challenges to 19 façade MCIs 

The court issued a very favorable Order and Decision on the TA’s objections to DHCR’s granting of 19 individual Major Capital Improvement rent increases related to Local Law 11 façade work. As you know, we challenged all approved MCIs in a filing called an Article 78, which comes before the court.

We prevailed on the two key issues: failure to file in time and failure to consider depreciability as an IRS standard for work to qualify as an MCI.

A change to HPD Mitchell-Lama rules?

 HPD has proposed many changes to Mitchell-Lama rules. 

The hearing will be on March 14, 2023 from 10 to 11 AM, and you can testify on line, by email, by regular mail, and by fax. 

You can participate on line by computer or phone. 

Click here for how to submit testimony, how to participate in the hearing, and what the proposed changes are. 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Kingston NY RGB rolls back rent!

November 10th, 2022

Kingston Tenants Win Historic 15% Rent Reduction from Rent Guidelines Board
This tenant organizing victory by For the Many and other grassroots groups comes after Orlando and several cities across California adopted rent control on Tuesday.

KINGSTON, N.Y. - On Wednesday night, by a 6–3 vote, the Kingston Rent Guidelines Board enacted a historic 15% rent reduction for over 1,200 apartments across 64 rent-stabilized buildings. This is the first rent reduction in New York State history and comes after months of organizing by tenants, For the Many, and other grassroots groups, including Citizen Action, Mid-Hudson Valley DSA, and Housing Justice for All.

This rent reduction will apply to all new one- and two-year leases which commence between August 1, 2022 and September 30, 2023. All landlords from eligible “ETPA buildings” are now required to offer these leases to tenants. The Board also voted to create a three-year lookback period for Fair Market Rent Appeals, which allows tenants a one-time challenge to their base rent, to which all future adjustments will be applied.

The six votes in favor of a rent reduction were tenant representatives Carol Soto and Michael Tierney and public representatives Mie Inouye, Noah Kippley-Ogman, Diana Lopez, and Arlene Puentes. The three votes against were property owner representatives Anthony Tampone and Tara Perry and public representative Michael Brown. Earlier in the meeting, Perry’s motion for a 5% rent increase failed 1–8. A straw poll for a 30% rent reduction attracted the support of Soto, Tierney, Inouye, and Lopez.

In July, after successful organizing by For the Many and other allies, Kingston declared a housing emergency to opt into the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA). This created the first Rent Guidelines Board in the state north of Rockland County. The Board governs rents for all buildings of six or more units built before 1974. This includes some of the largest apartment complexes in Kingston, including Stony Run, Fairview Gardens, Dutch Village, and Spring Brook Village.

In October, For the Many launched its Reduce Kingston’s Rents campaign, calling on the Board to enact a historic rent reduction and adopt a long lookback period. A reduction is necessary to counteract outrageous rent gouging by landlords. From 2016 to 2020, Ulster County rents rose by 27% for a one-bedroom apartment and 48% for a two-bedroom. Rents have only shot up further during the pandemic; Zillow data shows that the average Kingston rent has doubled since 2015. More information can be found in this fact sheet.

At both public hearings held by the Board, tenants and their allies turned out overwhelmingly in support of a rent reduction. At the October 25th hearing, 22 of the 29 speakers were tenants or their allies. At the November 5th hearing, more than fifty speakers called for a rent reduction, with just two landlords testifying in opposition.

One of these landlords admitted to owning no ETPA buildings, and the other was Rich Lanzarone, executive director of the Hudson Valley Property Owners Association. Not only did he say hearing about the struggles of tenants makes him want to “puke,” but he also inexplicably cited the Magna Carta as a legal precedent. Lanzarone is also the lead plaintiff in a nonsensical lawsuit attempting to strike down the entire Board; a requested temporary restraining order has already been denied by a judge.

Many tenants who testified in favor of a rent reduction at the hearings were Stony Run residents. Their apartment complex is the largest ETPA-eligible one in Kingston, and was bought last year by real estate investment firm Aker Companies. Despite promising very very minimal” rent increases, Aker has raised rents by as much as 67%, levied arbitrary fees, and neglected basic maintenance. This led Stony Run tenants—with the support of For the Many—to form a tenant union. Last Friday, members of its organizing committee traveled to Beacon to deliver a list of demands to Aker’s office.

Along with For the Many, supporters of the rent reduction include Citizen Action, Mid-Hudson Valley DSA, Housing Justice for All, the Kingston Interfaith Council, the Hudson Valley Justice Center, the Community Service Society, the Legal Aid Society, Assemblymember-elect Sarahana Shrestha, Ulster County Legislator Phil Erner, and Kingston Alderwoman Michele Hirsch. Several academics also submitted expert testimony in favor of a rent reduction, including Professor of Economics and Sustainable Development Dr. Eban Goodstein, Professor of Economics Timothy Koechlin, and Professor of Urban Studies Kwame Holmes.

“This is a monumental victory not just for Kingston tenants, but for tenants across New York,” said Aaron Narraph Fernando, Communications Lead at For the Many. “Any reduction in rents would have been historic, but the capacity for a 15% reduction to provide substantive relief to thousands of people cannot be overstated. We applaud the Rent Guidelines Board for their vote after hearing from more than seventy tenants, homeowners, and experts overwhelmingly in favor of a rent reduction. From seniors facing outrageous rent hikes, to pregnant moms thrown out on the street, to Stony Run residents receiving literal blackmail letters, Board members couldn’t ignore the stories of Kingston tenants. We’re excited for the reduction’s implementation and for the rest of the state to follow in Kingston’s footsteps. Rent stabilization and Good Cause are the keys to New York’s future.”

“I am proud of the decision made tonight and prouder still that so many members of our community stood up and said this Board needed to act decisively to keep tenants in their homes,” said Michael Tierney, tenant representative to the Kingston Rent Guidelines Board. “This reduction represents a paradigm shift in how we address the needs of the many over unregulated market conditions. I am so grateful for every tenant who courageously shared their story, as well as every advocate and expert who spoke about how destructive high rents are to a community, and to my fellow tenant representative Carol Soto for her determination and wisdom during these proceedings.”

“In 2019, the New York tenant movement made history when we won a massive expansion of rent stabilization,” said Cea Weaver, Campaign Coordinator at Housing Justice for All, a statewide coalition of more than 80 organizations representing tenants and homeless New Yorkers. “Today in Kingston, we’re seeing the fruits of that labor. This historic victory shows that when tenants fight, we win. In the face of an out-of-control housing crisis, tenants are coming together to demand our own solutions—not just in New York, but in Orlando, Santa Monica, and all over the country. Lawmakers should take note: we won’t be waiting for landlords and developers to free market our way out of this housing crisis. We will be taking the streets for Good Cause and a pro-tenant agenda to protect all New Yorkers from outrageous rent hikes. And we will win.”


For the Many is building a grassroots movement of everyday people to transform the Hudson Valley and New York so it works for all of us, not the greedy few.

Aaron Narraph Fernando
Communications Lead, For the Many
(646) 732-1518