Sunday, May 1, 2022

Our letter to the Rent Guidelines Board's tenant and public members

Letter emailed to Chairman David Reiss, to tenant members Sheila Garcia and Adán Soltren and to public member of the RGB Arpit Gupta, Christina DeRose, Alex Schwartz, and Christian González-Rivera:


We are writing on behalf of the Coalition to End Apartment Warehousing.  

As you may know, in 2019 CHIP said landlords were warehousing some 70,000 vacant rent stabilized apartments. The number has surged since then. In Park West Village, for example, out of 864 rent stabilized apartments, there are over 100 apartments being warehoused for times ranging between months to over five years. So it is likely that the total number of rent stabilized apartments that landlords are refusing to offer for rent is closer to 100,00 city-wide. 

First, that will skew any income data on which the RGB relies. 

Second, landlords who are holding apartments vacant self-evidently do not need any rent increase. If they actually needed more income for a fair return on their investment, they would rent out those apartments. 

In addition, landlords are more than making up for any deficit with extremely high rents. In Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, Blackstone is now charging astronomical rents for regulated units held vacant for months that will make up for any lost income during the pandemic.   In Central Park Gardens, a former Mitchell-Lama on the Upper West Side, Stellar Management is asking $9,875 for one unregulated unit and over $6,400 for another.   

Our coalition therefore urges that you consider the warehousing of rent stabilized units with the other data and vote against any rent increase. 

Thank you.

Sue Susman, Stellar Tenants for Affordable Housing, 

president, Central Park Gardens Tenants’ Association

Patricia Loftman, president, Park West Village Tenant Association

Anne Greenberg, vice president, Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association

Denisse Miramon, St. Nick’s Alliance

NYC Comptroller report cites warehousing as big problem

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