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MAIN: CSS: More affordable units lost than gained

Tom Waters and Victor Bach of the Community Service Society have just issued a report, "What New Yorkers Want from the New Mayor: An Affordable Place to Live."

This report quantifies the units lost to vacancy decontrol and gentrification - more lost than gained (or could be gained) during the 12 years of the Bloomberg administration.

Posted by sue on Tuesday, January 14 @ 13:35:26 UTC (215 reads)
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MAIN: DHCR Commissioner resigns

Deborah Van Amerongen is resigning as head of the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal.

Then-Governor Eliot Spitzer appointed her in a move well-appreciated by tenants.

Her resignation is effective January 15, 2010.

Click here for Gov. Paterson's announcement.

Posted by sue on Wednesday, December 30 @ 14:12:44 UTC (1177 reads)
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MAIN: Stuy Tenants Settle with Tishman Speyer

Tenants at Stuyvesant Town / Peter Cooper Village have reached an agreement with owner Tishman Speyer concerning rent reductions following the NYS Court of Appeals' ruling that apartments may not be taking out of rent stabilization while the owner gets J-51 benefits.

For a copy of the interim agreement, click: Court Order on Stuy Town Interim Agreement [The Justice System]. For more on the arrangement and background, click on "read more" below.

Posted by sue on Monday, December 14 @ 16:40:53 UTC (963 reads)
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MAIN: ''Unique or Peculiar'' -- what does it mean?
The "Unique or peculiar" phrase comes from the section of the NYS Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974 that is codified as Rent Stabilization Law Section 26-513.a:
513 a. The tenant or owner of a housing accommodation made subject to this law by the emergency tenant protection act of nineteen seventy-four may, within sixty days of the local effective date of this section or the commencement of the first tenancy thereafter, whichever is later, file with the commissioner an application for adjustment of the initial legal regulated rent for such housing accommodation. The commissioner may adjust such initial legal regulated rent upon a finding that the presence of unique or peculiar circumstances materially affecting the initial legal regulated rent has resulted in a rent which is substantially different from the rents generally prevailing in the same area for substantially similar housing accommodations.
(Underlining added)

In its 2005 decision in KSLM-Columbus v. NYS Division of Housing & Community Renewal (the "Westgate" case), the state's highest court ruled that

  • Tenants in Mitchell-Lama buildings built before March 10, 1969, who moved into their current apartments after July 1, 1971, and
  • Tenants in all Mitchell-Lama buildings that opened after March 10, 1969
are subject to their landlord's application based on "unique or peculiar circumstances" to increase the starting rent on leaving Mitchell-Lama and going into rent stabilization.

The Court of Appeals did not define "unique or peculiar circumstances" (contrary to the lower court, the Appellate Division, which interpreted some 1995-1996 DHCR letters in a different context to suggest that just taking a building out of the Mitchell-Lama program was a basis for "unique or peculiar circumstances.")

To close this loophole, the state's Division of Housing & Community Renewal passed regulations which state that just leaving Mitchell-Lama is not by itself a "unique or peculiar circumstance."

Posted by sue on Friday, May 06 @ 11:26:10 UTC (9970 reads)
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