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Basic Information: Protect Yourself as a Rent Regulated Tenant

Building owners make a LOT of money from market-rate apartments. To do that, they have to get rid of the tenants paying affordable rents. That hurts our community and deprives current and future residents of affordable homes.

Protect yourself in advance by keeping a copy of your lease and rent bills, and note the many ways that the owner is already using to get people out.

Click on "read more" for more information and click here for a flyer in English.

Posted by sue on Wednesday, December 11 @ 22:30:29 UTC (1245 reads)
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Basic Information: What's J-51 anyway, and why care about it?

Tom Waters and Victor Bach of the Community Service Society have written a comprehensive report on what J-51 is and how it affects New Yorkers.

Read it at http://www.cssny.org/userimages/downloads/UpgradingPrivatePropertyAtPublicExpenseJ51June2012.pdf.

Posted by sue on Friday, June 08 @ 14:26:51 UTC (887 reads)
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Basic Information: New Statistics on Rent Regulation in NYC

The Furman Center at NYU has just published a report with telling statistics about rent regulation in New York City.

Read it!.

Posted by sue on Thursday, April 19 @ 23:40:03 UTC (669 reads)
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Basic Information: ''Unique or Peculiar'' - what it is and how it affects us


What is “unique or peculiar”?

Between 1971 and 1974, whenever a rent regulated apartment became vacant, it went to full market rate. That resulted in a serious shortage of affordable housing, and the state legislature responded with the 1974 Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA). The ETPA put all apartments in big buildings built before 1974 into rent stabilization, and the starting “rent stabilized rent” was whatever tenants were paying before the law went into effect. This is important to us because when our buildings were taken out of Mitchell-Lama, we went into rent stabilization under the Emergency Tenant Protection Act.

But in some cases, the last rent the tenant was paying was silly: an owner charged his daughter $2 a month, or the super paid $0 in rent. When that apartment became regulated, they needed a way to figure out a reasonable rent. So the ETPA provides that under such “unique or peculiar circumstances” either the tenant or the owner could go to the state’s housing agency and ask the agency to set the rent.

Click on "read more" below for how this affects tenants in pre-1974 buildings taken out of Mitchell-Lama. And Click for a flyer-version of this text that you can download and print.

Posted by sue on Friday, March 25 @ 13:01:31 UTC (923 reads)
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Basic Information: Predatory Equity: A Glossary

Tenants & Neighbors has published a Predatory Equity Glossary" of technical terms that are often used in policy discussions about this subject. Check it out!

Posted by sue on Thursday, September 09 @ 15:37:04 UTC (915 reads)
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Basic Information: ''Destabilized Rents: Impact of Vacancy Decontrol on Low-Income Communities

The Community Service Society published "Destabilized Rents: The Impact of Vacancy Decontrol on Low-Income Communities" in June 2009.

Written by Tom Waters and Victor Bach, senior housing analysts at CSS, the policy brief includes the fact that only about 15% of the tenants in post-1973 buildings coming out of Mitchell-Lama would be eligible for enhanced vouchers.

Posted by sue on Friday, June 04 @ 19:56:35 UTC (823 reads)
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Basic Information: Community Service Society Articles

Victor Bach and Tom Waters, housing analysts at the Community Service Society, have written several useful reports, listed below.

Making the Rent '08 Report

Closing the Door '08 Report

Where is the Property Relief for Struggling Renters?

Destabilized Rents: The Impact of Vacancy Decontrol

For earlier reports, see:

Closing the Door 2007

Closing the Door 2006


Making the Rent 2002-2005.

Posted by sue on Monday, June 22 @ 15:02:47 UTC (852 reads)
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Basic Information: Built in Different Years

Re: Pre-1974 rental developments:

Building owners claim that just leaving Mitchell-Lama is a "unique or peculiar circumstance" under the Emergency Tenant Protection Act that would justify raising rents to market rate. While NYS's Division of Housing & Community Renewal (DCHR) passed regulations to the contrary, closing that loophole, owners Larry Gluck of Stellar Management and Steven Witkoff of Witkoff Realty among others have brought law suits against those regulations. The suits, after various changes (see the chart), ended up before Justice Alice Schlesinger, who sided with the tenants. Then the State's mid-level court, the Appellate Division, First Department, unanimously affirmed the court below. The owner of Columbus 95, Steve Witkoff, has now filed a motion seeking permission to appeal to the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals. That is pending.

What happens to us depends on how the state's courts interpret the law, as landlords appeal the new regulations - and whether the Democratic-majority State Legislature passes new legislation. As of now:

Click on "read more" below for information about Mitchell-Lama rental buildings built from 1974 on.

The new regulations, if they stand up to court appeal, may save thousands of apartments of New York City's stock of affordable housing. This is the result of the work of hundreds of tenants and tenant advocates. But regulations are more easily changed than statutes - so tenants need a STATUTE.

Posted by sue on Sunday, May 31 @ 11:28:08 UTC (3351 reads)
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Basic Information: Closing the Door -- Community Service Society Report
The Community Service Society has just published its latest report, Closing the Door, updating its equally clear, if depressing reports of 2007, Closing the Door 2007 and 2006, Policy Brief: Closing the Door

Posted by sue on Friday, September 08 @ 14:41:02 UTC (1370 reads)
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