Sunday, October 29, 2023

Our statement on the new DHCR Frankensteining regulations

 Coalition to End Apartment Warehousing Wins

New Regulations That Retain Affordable Housing

for New York City

The new NYS Homes and Community Renewal regulations are a good start, but

state bills need to be signed by Governor Hochul now to make the changes more

comprehensive and permanent

New York, NY — With a lot of hard work, testifying, and campaigning, the Coalition to End Apartment Warehousing, a New York City tenant and advocacy group, has helped win new regulations at the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) agency to close a loophole in the 2019 Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA). The new regulations — which take effect November 8 — will enable New York City to retain more of its affordable, rent-regulated housing. We urge Governor Hochul to sign S2980/A6216 to make the changes more comprehensive and permanent.

Through that loophole in the HSTPA, owners have been able to set a new, market-rate first rent on rent-stabilized homes by combining adjacent, formerly affordable, regulated apartments into single large “Frankensteined” monsters at sky-high rents.

The loophole has encouraged landlords to warehouse vacant rent-regulated apartments —sometimes for years — in the hope of Frankensteining them later when an adjacent apartment becomes empty.

In one building, for example, an empty stabilized apartment (rent: about $850 a month) was combined with an unregulated market-rate apartment directly above it (rent: about $3,000 a month). The result was a duplex apartment advertised on for $13,000 per month and the removal of yet another affordable apartment from New York City’s housing stock.

The practice of Frankensteining — combining separate, adjacent apartments into one single larger apartment — has made an untold number of affordable apartments unavailable throughout the city.

Frankensteining has converted almost entire buildings in stable, affordable communities into extremely high-rent buildings, often with a rotating cast of tenants who cannot afford to stay long term.

Estimates from the city and others put the range of warehoused, vacant rent-stabilized apartments in New York City anywhere from 13,000 to 60,000 — with all of those apartments sitting empty during an unprecedented housing crisis. (Unfortunately and shamefully, the city and state don’t maintain accurate data on rent-regulated apartment vacancies.)

Tenant Sue Susman of Stellar Tenants for Affordable Housing said, “These new regulations may make a big difference in my building where the landlord is keeping 13 rent-stabilized apartments off the market — and has already Frankensteined 4 others. So many people need those affordable homes, and most of the vacant apartments need little more than a coat of paint.”

Cooper Square Committee organizer Jodie Leidecker said, “It’s a shame that it’s taken almost five years since the passage of the HSTPA to close this loophole, and countless truly affordable apartments have been permanently lost to high rents. It’s not a case of too little too late, but when we talk about preservation, this was an obvious no-brainer. Most buildings I’ve worked with since the passage of the HSTPA have experienced Frankensteining. We hope these rules help tenants in mostly affordable rent-stabilized apartments feel slightly more protected from predatory real estate interests instead of just being sitting ducks.”

In response to the ongoing advocacy of the Coalition to End Apartment Warehousing and other tenants and tenant groups, New York State’s housing agency proposed these regulations, and they should make a difference. The new regulations, which clarify the 

HSTPA’s intent, say that the new rent of a Frankensteined apartment must be the combined previous legal rents of the apartments - and where a rent stabilized unit is expanded with non-apartment space, the rent will be proportional to the change in the unit’s size (plus any “individual apartment increases” capped at $85 over 15 years and normal Rent Guidelines Board increases). So that $13,000 rent seen above would be more like $5,000, and the apartment would stay rent stabilized.

Moreover, landlords who created those vacancies by harassing tenants out, or by fraud or evasion, may be entitled to no increase at all.

Tenant Edward Ratliff from East 26th Street: “These regulations can potentially really help our city have more affordable, regulated apartments. Unfortunately, the changes come too late for my building, where a large percentage of the affordable apartments have already been lost to Frankensteining.”

By discouraging Frankensteining, the new regulations will preserve existing affordable housing in the midst of the one of the greatest housing shortages New York has ever seen.

We thank the many tenants who worked hard to demand these changes, and we are glad the New York State Homes and Community Renewal enacted these long overdue new regulations.


Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Good news on Frankensteining regulations!

New Regulations to Keep Frankensteined Apartments Stabilized and Affordable!

With a lot of hard work, testifying, and campaigning, we have helped win new regulations by the New York State Homes and Community Renewal that will enable New York City to retain more of its affordable, rent regulated housing, closing a loophole in the housing law. 

Because of this loophole, owners have erased rent stabilized homes by combining adjacent, formerly affordable apartments into Frankensteined monsters at sky-high rents. It has even encouraged landlords to warehouse vacant rent-regulated apartments - sometimes for years - in the hope of Frankensteining them later.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Great rally today!


Top photo by Jodie Leidecker, Cooper Square

A big shout-out to Los Sures, Los Sures Lucha, Cooper Square, TTC, and all the other folks from the Coalition who participated in today's rally in front of Governor Hochul's office.  

Roberto speaking on the right: 

All other photos by Edward Ratliff

Some of the group

                                     Ellen speaking

Sue speaking

                                          Jodie cheering us on!

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Thursday, Oct. 12 rally: Urge Gov. to Sign Frankensteining Bill!

Join our Coalition and Housing Justice for All

this Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023 at Noon

at 633 Third Ave.  (40th/41st Streets)

at a 






Urge her to sign S.2980/A.6216 to effectively end Frankensteining by keeping combined apartments affordable - 

and to sign 3 other tenant bills as well. 

Watch the video and read the Memo we're delivering to the Governor.

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 ...