Friday, November 18, 2022

Warehousing NOT caused by 2019 law - CityLimits article


Empty Rent-Stabilized units in NYC Decreased This Year, as 'Warehousing' Debate Rages.

The latest vacancy data now mirrors pre-COVID figures following a "pandemic-height outlier," according to New York State's affordable housing agency. The number of empty apartments also matches the vacancy rate prior to landmark 2019 tenant protections that landlords blamed for the spike in empty units last year. 

by David Brand, published November 17, 2022.

EXCERPT: "With hundreds of thousands of low-income New Yorkers in need of an affordable home, even one warehoused unit is one too many,” said [Larry] Wood, of Goddard Riverside. 

Click on "Read More" for additional excerpts.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Tenants Rally on Proposed HPD Regulations


On November 15th, our Coalition joined Housing Justice for All, Make the Road NY, Met Council on Housing, the Cooper Square Committee, Tenants Taking Control and other groups on the steps of the US Customs House.  This was just before the Dept. of Housing and Community Development hearing on its proposed regulations to implement the 2019 Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act. The Coalition submitted testimony, as did several tenant leaders, including the Park West Village Tenant Association's president Pat Loftman, calling for the end of warehousing and Frankensteining, two loopholes that have severely affected affordable housing in New York City. 

A proposed regulation on "first rent" would end Frankensteining as we know it. The regulation would set the first rent of a newly-configured apartment by combining the previous legal rents, and adding any applicable "individual apartment improvement" increases (limited to $85 rent increase) and Rent Guidelines Board increases.  Where a rent stabilized unit is combined with non-apartment space (such as hallway), the rent would change by the same percentage as the square footage of the apartment. 

Under the current lack of regulations:  

RS unit "6A" rent of $800  + market-rate unit 7A's rent of $5000   new rent is whatever market will bear (such as $9000!)  It's not even clear if the new unit is rent stabilized. 

Under proposed regulation:

RS unit 6A's rent of $800 + market-rate unit 7A's rent of $5000   new rent is $5800 (plus about $85).   

That would discourage landlords from warehousing RS apartments so they could combine them at an enormous rent. 

Coalition and allies testify at DHCR hearing

Read our coalition's testimony here, and the testimony of member Park West Village Tenant Association here. 

Tenants Urge State to Close the ‘Frankenstein Loophole’ That Landlords Use to Supersize Rents

Logo for THE CITY

This article was originally published on by THE CITY 

by Tanaz Meghjani and Sam Rabiyah, The City

Tenant advocates rally with signs on steps of building, before a hearing on regulations around rent-stabilized apartments.
Tenant advocates rally in Lower Manhattan ahead of a hearing on regulations around rent-stabilized apartments, Nov. 15, 2022. | Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

Tenants flocked to a state housing agency hearing Tuesday to raise alarms about loopholes in the state’s rent laws — including one that allows landlords to combine empty apartments and sharply raise rents.

The Division of Housing and Community Renewal hearing focused on proposed amendments to rent stabilization rules, including one that HCR says would end the so-called “Frankenstein loophole” in the Rent Stabilization Code. Tenants reported a rise in this practice after passage of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 — historic tenant protections that eliminated most tactics landlords used to jack up rents and deregulate apartments.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

The City: Tenants rally (3 times in past several days) against warehousing

 The City: 

In Near-Daily Protests, Tenants Demand End to Widespread Rent-Stabilized Apartment Vacancies 

by Sam Rabiyah and Rachel Holliday Smith, Nov. 3, 2022 

Since THE CITY’s finding that last year some 89,000 rent-stabilized units were empty, tenants and elected officials have been taking to the streets. 


And listen to the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC discussion with Sam Rabiyah here:

Tenants join electeds at press conf on Intro. 195

Members of UNO, Los Sures, Goddard Riverside, St. Nick's Alliance, East 26th Street Tenants, and more joined Council Members Carlina Rivera, Gale Brewer, Pierina Sanchez, Eric Bottcher, Lincoln Restler, and Shahana Hanif, and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal.  Attorney Sam Chiera also spoke about the substance of the bill. 

 Council Members Hold Press Conference Regarding Housing Legislation

Unless otherwise specified, all photos courtesy of John McCarten, City Council Media Unit, used with permission.

Photo by Larry Wood of Goddard Riverside

Council Members Hold Press Conference Regarding Housing Legislation Council Members Hold Press Conference Regarding Housing Legislation Council Members Hold Press Conference Regarding Housing Legislation Council Members Hold Press Conference Regarding Housing Legislation Council Members Hold Press Conference Regarding Housing Legislation

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 ...