Thursday, June 15, 2023

Support bill to end Frankensteining NOW - just a few days left

The NYS Legislature will hold a special session beginning June 20th. Among bills they may discuss is the one that could END FRANKENSTEINING of rent-stabilized homes.  The bill, S2980C/A6216B, has already passed the NYS Senate.  

Let's keep these altered apartments affordable.  Tell your Assembly Member and Speaker Carl Heastie that we NEED A6216B NOW!

The bill will

  • Ensure that new apartments including any rent stabilized space are entirely rent stabilized
  • Set the first rent for such newly-created apartments by combining the previous legal rents.  Where a rent stabilized unit is expanded by adding common-area space (like a bit of hallway), the rent would change by the same percentage as the stabilized apartment's area is changed.  
  • Include in the new base rent Individual Apartment Improvement and Rent Guidelines Board increases but NOT where the vacancies resulted from fraud or harassment. 

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Any number of vacant units harming neighbors is wrong

Let the tenants who suffer next to warehoused units tell 311 how many there are.  

At the June 6, 2023 hearing on Intro. 195, HPD said there were only  2,477 rent-stabilized units “that had been vacant and off-the-market for 12 months or more, were in need of repairs, and had a low legal rent” of less than $1,000."

Landlords have said there are roughly 30,000 such units (not necessarily renting for under $1,000, and not necessarily vacant for 12 months or more). 

While the City, State and various interest groups offer cherry-picked, speculative numbers, and carve out extremely finite definitions of what might count in this category, our member organizations continue to work with tenants on the ground who suffer from hazardous living conditions caused by vacant units. Intro. 195 heard in committee addresses our direct observations of, and experiences with, many warehoused apartments. We hope that accurate data can help us assess the reality of this situation, and help tenants living in partially occupied buildings suffering from neglect, rather than be used to serve political or profit driven motives.

Photo by Bill Alatriste for the NY City Council, used with permission

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

What a rally! What a hearing on Intro.195!!

On June 6, 2023 the Stand for Tenant Safety/Coalition to End Apartment Warehousing joined Council Members Carlina Rivera and Gale Brewer to support Intro. 195. Under current law, if you have a serious problem stemming from a vacant apartment next door, HPD generally won't inspect that vacant unit.  Intro. 195 would require landlords to respond to HPD within a specific period of time regarding access to the vacant units.

The City's Department of Housing Preservation & Development (along with landlords) opposes the bill on the grounds that it's not needed. But they can't say how many vacant units they've inspected (if any) and the results of those inspections.  We hope the bill will pass and tenants can provide 311 with the information about which apartments are actually vacant and which pose hazards to their neighbors. 
[Photos by Bill Alatriste, NYC Council; used with permission]

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 ...