Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rally for a Rent Rollback from the Rent Guidelines Board - Wed., April 29 at 5 PM, Herald Square

Landlord increases have far exceeded inflation. Time for a

(34th St. & Broadway, Manhattan)
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29, 2015,  5 PM
before the RGB Preliminary Vote starts at 6 PM at the CUNY Grad Center @ 365 5th Ave.

Housing Crisis - Panel with Public Advocate Tish James, THURSDAY, April 30, 9-12

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Has your legislator signed on to Repeal Vacancy Deregulation?

Why do landlords try to get rent regulated tenants out?  
If an apartment is vacant, it's easier to claim the rent is at least $2500 and permanently take it out of rent stabilization or rent control. 

To stop harassment and cheap offers to buy tenants out of their apartments, Albany must repeal vacancy deregulation. 

Urge your legislator to co-sponsor the bill, A.1865-A, that repeals Vacancy Deregulation and re-regulates 98 percent of the apartments that have been lost to Vacancy Deregulation in the last two decades, and to support the repeal of vacancy deregulation and the re-regulation of thousands of apartments.

Wed. April 29 Rally for a Rent Roll-Back before Rent Guidelines Board Preliminary Vote

When NY City's Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) votes in June, will it raise stabilized rents - and therefore landlords' incomes - even higher above inflation while tenant incomes continue to drop?  
Join other tenants at Herald Square on 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29 at 5 PM before RGB's Preliminary Vote.  

And read the testimony of Tom Waters and Victor Bach of the Community Service Society asking for a rent roll-back.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Geography of Rent Regulation - by District

Tom Waters of the Community Service Society has analyzed where rent-regulated apartments are located in the five boroughs of New York City. Use it as we organize and mobilize tenants to pressure their state legislators to fight for stronger rent protections between now and the June 15 sunset of the rent laws.


There are nearly million rent regulated apartments in New York City, which offer important affordability protections for tenants. The current law governing rent regulation will expire in June 2015 and will be up for renewal by the New York State legislature in its new session, beginning this January. The question before legislators will be whether to strengthen the existing law by preserving existing units and protecting affordability; or whether to allow the ongoing process of vacancy deregulation by which previously regulated apartments become subject to market rates.

A Second Life for the Mitchell-Lama Program

City Limits: A second life for the Mitchell-Lama program? (New CSS report)  reviews a terrific new report by Tom Waters and Victor Bach of the Community Service Society: 

Reinventing the Mitchell-Lama Housing Program: A Second Life for Mitchell-Lama?

What's next in the rent fight?

By: Michael McKee, April 2015
Excerpt:  Tenants’ only hope for not getting screwed this year rests with our friends, the Assembly Democrats.  We know the Senate Republicans will look to do the landlords’ bidding, but if the Assembly Democrats do not stand strong, we will lose.

The state rent laws will certainly be renewed in some fashion, but the key question is how they might be changed. Current rent laws have led to the deregulation of roughly 400,000 units of affordable housing, through loopholes that allow landlords to deregulate units and to jack up still-regulated rents to force tenants out. A “straight extender” that simply renews the current laws would be a defeat, because these loopholes would continue to eliminate thousands of units of rent-regulated housing every year.

May 14 - the March to Save New York!

Thursday, May 14, 2015  at 5 PM - Foley Square

Join the Real Rent Reform Campaign and the Alliance for Tenant Power at the MARCH TO #SAVENYC!

Support Intro 214 - A right to council in Housing Court for low-income tenants

    • 90% of landlords are represented in Housing Court.  
    • Only about 10% of tenants are represented in Housing Court.
    • 52% of all evictions in Housing Court are for rent regulated tenants.  
    • 100,000 rent regulated apartments have been de-regulated in the past 10 years in Manhattan only!
    • 60,000 people are in our homeless shelters (about 1/3 of the homeless are children) each night in New York City. The largest reason for homelessness is eviction.  
    • Paying for a family in a shelter is some $38,000/year.  Paying for a lawyer in Housing Court is about $2000.  

    Saturday, April 11, 2015

    When a rental is destroyed - NY Times

    When a Rental is Destroyed (read the whole article! in the NY Times)

    “In cases where the building is destroyed, it does raise an issue as to whether the tenants have the right to return” to a rent-stabilized apartment, said Ronald S. Languedoc, a Manhattan lawyer who represents tenants. Rent-stabilization law does not cover this exact scenario, and the courts have not addressed the matter in much detail. A judge could rule that tenancy rights terminated when the building was destroyed, and the landlord is not obligated to rebuild and provide rent-stabilized tenants with apartments. But if the landlord’s actions played any role in the disaster, a tenant’s case would be stronger.

    Wednesday, April 8, 2015

    April 13 meeting: Alliance for Tenant Power and Real Rent Reform Campaign

    Monday, April 13th 
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    at the 1199 SEIU MLK Labor Center
    310 W. 43rd St. between 8th and 9th Ave. in the auditorium. 

    Joint Meeting of the Alliance for Tenant Power (ATP) and the Real Rent Reform (R3) Campaign

    Many of you were a part of the campaign in 2011 when we got some minimal improvements to the rent laws - and you will also remember the massive amount of mobilization it took to get those strengthening amendments. 

    This year we need to band together more than ever, as it is frighteningly clear that if we don't close some of the gaping loopholes in the rent laws in June, we will continue to bleed so much rent regulated housing that we may have nothing left to fight for before very long.

    The Alliance for Tenant Power (ATP) along with Real Rent Reform campaign (R3) is calling a field meeting for your organizations and ALL organizations affiliated with housing and tenant issues, tenant associations and faith leaders to come together and talk about how best to execute our strategy as well as outline benchmark dates between now and June as we look towards success on June 15th.

    RSVP to Delsenia Glover, ATP Campaign Manager.

    Monday, April 6, 2015

    Has your Assembly Member co-sponsored the bill to repeal vacancy decontrol and re-regulate market apartments?

    Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal's bill , 1865A, to repeal vacancy deregulation would 

    • end landlords' incentive to oust rent regulated tenants and
    • re-regulate many market rate in many buildings     
    if it passes.

    Section 6 of the bill says that an apartment that has been taken out of rent stabilization or rent control because the rent was too high, will be re-regulated - as long as the rent never reached $5,000. Once back in regulation, the new base rent will be either what the tenant was paying on December 31, 2014, or - if the apartment was vacant, what the last rent was just before that date. 

    If your Assembly Member hasn't signed on as a sponsor, ask him or her to sign on!  Those MISSING from the sponsorship list are listed at the bottom of this email.

    AND ask your neighbors to sign a petition (take the one here and adapt it for your building or group!) and bring  them to your Assembly and Senate members and then send the petitions to Governor Cuomo.  

    Why just renewing the rent laws is not enough - Marina Metalios

    Marina Metalios: Why renewal of rent laws is not enough (Town & Village blog)

    By Marina Metalios
    Our rent laws expire on June 15, 2015. At the last Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village Building Leader meeting in February, we discussed what is at stake. Guest speaker Michael McKee (treasurer, Tenants PAC) explained that if we cannot reduce the phase-out of protections this year it may be too late to do so at the next renewal. The real estate lobby is quite content on a “straight extender” this June because the rent laws as currently written are doing exactly what the real estate lobby scripted.

    Rent Guidelines Board meetings for 2015

    The NYC Rent Guidelines Board sets rents for rent stabilized and rent controlled apartments every June - for leases that are renewed any time during the period from the next Oct. 1 through following September 30th.  

    The RGB has many meetings open to the public, some of which include public comment.  Click on "read more" below for the full schedule.