Friday, February 16, 2018

NYS Sen. Hamilton wants to credit landlords who give preferential rents (30% of stabilized housing!)

Tell State Sen. Jesse Hamilton and Assembly Member Walter Mosley that we do NOT want our taxes to subsidize landlords for profits they wish they could make on about 30% of all rent-stabilized apartments.

They are proposing to give a tax credit to owners  - at least 55% of whom NYS's DHCR found used bait-and-switch tactics

Owners of  rent-stabilized apartments can rent them for LESS than the legal regulated rent if the owners can't find tenants willing to pay the legal regulated rent (LRR).  That lower rent is called a "preferential rent." This has been used as a way to lure tenants in and then at the next lease renewal, to raise the rent back to the LRR.  The tenant can't afford it and moves out - and the landlord gets an automatic vacancy increase to raise the next LRR.
As Larry Wood of Goddard Riverside notes, in 2000 there were only 62 apartments in all of NY State with preferential rents.  By 2015, the number was up to 266, 279 units, and now is about 30% of all rent stabilized units.  So the bait-and-switch tactic is thriving.

Now State Senator Jesse Hamilton and Assembly Member Walter Mosley, are considering a bill to give tax breaks to landlords for the difference between the preferential rent and the legal regulated rent.   Tenants who applied to the proposed program would keep paying the preferential rents with Rent Guidelines Board increases, but the landlords who scammed the tenants in the first place would get to keep the difference. As Andrew Foltz-Morrison notes, rent stabilization has kept rents affordable specifically because nobody has to apply for it. as a special benefit.

Tenants in Jesse Hamilton 's district ( Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, and Sunset Park, and Walter Mosley's district (the office is in Fort Green) should click on their names to email them.

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