Friday, April 29, 2022

Landlords offer to rent out vacant apts IF state weakens tenant protections

The Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP), an association of owners of rent stabilized buildings, is offering to rent out vacant apartments if the state will roll back some of the protections of the 2019 Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act.


Fixing this problem would actually not cost the government anything. It would also not raise the rent one cent on any existing tenants. [Emphasis added.] The government just needs to let the property owners set a new first rent on the unit that will allow them to justify the renovation costs needed to fix up the apartment. Doing this would create an instant boom in housing supply in all neighborhoods of the city. It would also create a lot of jobs. CHIP estimates that recapturing these units could create $1.5 billion to $2 billion in economic activity over the next nine months. 

Affordable housing shouldn't be solely for those who already have it - although that affordability must be protected. Those 70,000 vacant rent-stabilized units should be put back on the market for those who need them.

In addition, CHIP can't legitimately complain that it's not worth their while to rent out vacant apartments. Landlords not making a fair return on investment can always open their books to DHCR and ask for a hardship increase. They don't do it because they are making more than a 5% profit. If it's not worth it for them to be landlords at their current rate of return, they're free to stop being landlords. 

Meanwhile, holding 70,000 vacant rent-stabilized apartments off the market to pressure Albany seems awfully close to hostage-taking - especially with many lower-income people whose vouchers would cover the rents.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Landlords who warehouse shouldn't get a rent increase!

The New York City Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) will soon be voting on whether to increase rents for rent stabilized and rent controlled tenants when they renew leases.  The determination is supposed to be based on data:  ensuring landlords get a reasonable return on their investment and that tenants can afford to pay the rents. 

But one bit of landlord data is skewed since some landlords are getting a lower return on their investment voluntarily.  They are refusing to rent out at least 70,000 rent stabilized apartments and possibly more than 100,000. That's 10% of all rent-regulated units!  

 There are a few reasons for warehousing, including

Landlords who warehouse apartments can't then claim they're losing money. (That's like the old example of the Yiddish word "chutzpah" : a man kills his parents and then asks the court for leniency because he's an orphan.)

The RGB's next on-line meeting is Tuesday, April 26, 2022 (9:45 AM for landlords, and 1 PM for tenants) and the Preliminary Vote will be on Thursday, May 5th starting at 7 PM. 









Friday, April 15, 2022

A big turnout at the Town Hall!

There was a great turnout on line for the Town Hall, and participants heard from tenants, tenant advocates, Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, and Council Member Gale Brewer.   

On April 14, 2022, Council Member Brewer joined Council Member Carlina Rivera in presenting City Council Intro. 195 to require the registration of long-vacant apartments and better oversight to ensure the safety of neighbors of those units. 


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Town Hall on Ending Warehousing

TONIGHT AT 6:30 PM on Zoom 

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The management of 50 West 97th Street refuses to offer for rent 9 vacant rent stabilized apartments.  The management is just warehousing them. And that's just one building.

So landlords are creating a fake shortage of apartments, and then offering to relieve it if the state will let them double the rents every 5 years by permitting vacancy bonuses again. (In the past, landlords got a 20% increase every time a rent stabilized apartment became vacant. If tenants were harassed out by certain landlords, that could mean a new tenant every year - and that would result in a 100% rent increase after 5 or so years without the landlord even having to slap on a coat of paint.)

Tonight the Coalition to End Apartment Warehousing is hosting a Zoom Town Hall about this issue.  Join us!

6:30 PM.  
By phone: 646 558 8656 (meeting ID: 83569891685#)

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Don't Let Landlords Hold Apts Hostage to Undo the 2019 Housing Law

And now we know at least one reason why.

Landlords want to pressure the state into re-instating vacancy bonuses. (They were banned in the 2019 law .*)  An association of landlords of rent stabilized apartments has offered to put some 20,000 units back on the market if the state rolls back that rent protection.

Tell Gov. Hochul and the state legislature not to reward landlord "hostage takers" and to pass AM Linda Rosenthal's bill A.5988.

And join the Town Hall this Tuesday, April 12th at 6:30 PM on Zoom with Assembly Member Rosenthal, Council Member Gale Brewer and others to learn how we can END the APARTMENT WAREHOUSING that is depriving our city of needed affordable housing.
By phone: 646 558 8656 (meeting ID: 83569891685#) 
*Vacancy bonuses used to be about 20% - so after 5 vacancies, the rent would have doubled without the landlord making a single improvement. That motivated some landlords to harass tenants out for a quicker turnover.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Virtual Town Hall - April 12, 2022 at 6:30 PM

Virtual Town Hall on Ending Apartment Warehousing

Tuesday, April 12 at 6:30pm

Join us for an educational forum on how apartment warehousing causes tenant displacement and the loss of affordable housing, and endangers tenants.
Learn about:
  • the effects of apartment warehousing
  • why landlords warehouse apartments
  • the tenant experience of warehousing
  • current legislation
  • what you can do!
Speakers will include:
  • tenants
  • organizers
  • and local elected officials including New York Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal and New York City Council Member Gale Brewer (full speaker list in development).

This Town Hall will be held on Zoom, with no registration necessary.

Zoom link:
By phone: 646 558 8656 (meeting ID: 83569891685#)

For more information about this event, contact the Coalition to End Apartment Warehousing


Learn more about how apartment warehousing endangers tenants and affordable housing with this factsheet:
Apartment Warehousing Factsheet (English)
Almacenamiento de apartamentos hoja de hechos (Español)

Town Hall - Tues., April 12, 2022 at 6:30 PM

Join our coalition, tenants, Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, Council Member Gale Brewer, and other elected officials, for a

Town Hall on Zoom
Tues.April 12, 2022
at 6:30 PM.

NYC Comptroller report cites warehousing as big problem

  NYC Comptroller's Spotlight:  NYC's Housing Supply Challenge , Feb. 13, 2024:  EXCERPT: One particular area of concern in the gap ...