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All comments to posts have to await approval. Please be aware that, depending on when I'm logged onto the internet, it may take me hours, even longer, to moderate comments, so if they don't turn up in a speedy fashion, they are still in the queue. Comments that cross a line I'm not comfortable with will not get approved.

NOTE: Comments reflect the opinions of the person writing them and should not be assumed to reflect the opinion of the blog. Because of the anonymous nature of the commentary, specific agendas can be pushed by a sole individual and may not reflect a more popular belief by the residents of this community.

Monday, June 29, 2015

FINALLY!!!


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/30/nyregion/new-york-city-board-votes-to-freeze-rents-on-one-year-leases.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

The board that regulates rents for more than one million rent-stabilized apartments in New York City voted on Monday night for a freeze on one-year leases, an unprecedented move in its 46-year history.

The 7-to-2 vote by the city’s Rent Guidelines Board was an acknowledgment of the precarious situation of scores of tenants whose incomes have not kept pace with housing costs. It also was the first decision on rent levels by a nine-member board appointed in its entirety by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The board also voted to increase rents on two-year leases by 2 percent, a historic low.


.......

REACTION FROM THE RSA AND, SURELY, THE REBNY:


Joseph Strasburg, the president of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 landlords, called the rent freeze an “unconscionable, politically driven decision to carry out de Blasio’s campaign promise of two years ago.”

“A rent freeze on the surface may sound pro-tenant, he said, “but the reality is landlords will now have to forgo repairing, maintaining and preserving their apartments, which will trigger the deterioration of quality, affordable housing de Blasio pretends to care about.”


More at the above link.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dan Garodnick's Wasteful Spending


I have to hand it to Dan Garodnick, our councilman. It takes balls to print a HUGE glossy and expensive mailer (on the people's dime) to pat yourself on the back, while promoting the 63-floor One Vanderbilt building, the spearhead for fundamentally changing the mid-East Side forever with other neighboring high rises that will sink Central Park and Manhattan's East Side streets into shadow, creating even more congestion, more noise, more madness, less sun, less air, but make the REBNY, construction bosses, and wealthy foreign concerns very happy.


But we know that Dan is a puppy dog to real estate. (Check the donations he receives from real estate and his teaming up with Brookfield to acquire Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, where "affordable housing" will be supposedly maintained for, maybe, 10% of the tenants, but probably 5%, if we're lucky. And "affordable" will not be what any normal person would consider affordable.)

But that's not what goads now.

What goads is why Dan had to spend so much on this self-promotional newsletter. Remember that several years ago Dan jumped on the "green" bandwagon and issued "green" newsletters on non-glossy paper, as he touted the green movement and his being a part of it. That turned out to be--surprise, surprise--bullshit, which Dan is a master at crafting. Those "green" newsletters were not snazzy enough, because he dropped that concept and went with heavier stock, glossy paper, which costs much more. This new newsletter exceeds those costs by being the largest foldout I ever received from a politician! My ruler isn't long enough to measure it!

I'm assuming that the money for this flyer comes from whatever kitty a councilperson receives for such promotions, with the taxpayer ultimately footing the bill. But since this gigantic "newsletter" is all about the Vanderbilt Corridor, I can't but wonder if some extra money wasn't received from big business interests to pump up the mailer's dimensions.

And here's the middle section compared with the size of a dollar bill, rug removed on the floor for better visual impact:


What a waste of money!

Thanks, Dan!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Blogger Error - Comments Not Working

I've been informed, and have verified, that when someone wants to make a comment to a post, they are receiving a "NOT FOUND Error 404" message.

I'm looking into this and will try to correct it as soon as possible.

UPDATE 6/28: From my end I haven't been able to fix the comment error, so I'm waiting to hear back from Blogger on this issue. I have no idea how long I'll have to wait.  A couple of comments have managed to go through, somehow, but the comment form is still not working properly.

Whatever the case, this blog will continue, one way or another!

Meanwhile if you want and need to comment, you can send me an email at:

stuytownreporter@gmail.com

Please indicate what post you are responding to.

I will just post your text and not your email address.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Here It Is

The New York metropolitan region’s rent laws will be extended for four years, and will be made retroactive to June 15, 2015. Further, additional reforms will be made to strengthen these laws, including:
  • Increasing and indexing the high rent threshold to the applicable rent guidelines board (rent guidelines boards apply different rents to different geographic areas). This will make it more difficult for units to be removed from rent regulation because it will allow for the high rent watermark to float based on the rent guidelines board increases.
  • Vacancy decontrol limits will be increased to $2,700, and annual increases thereafter will be indexed to the Rent Guidelines Board.
  • Increasing civil harassment penalties. These provisions increase monetary penalties imposed on landlords who harass tenants by approximately $1,000, to $3,000 for each offense and up to $11,000 for each offense where the owner harassed a tenant to obtain a vacancy.
  • Extends the Major Capital Improvement amortization period from 84 months to 108 for buildings over 35 units and 84 months to 96 for buildings under 35 units. The legislation limits the amount of rent that landlords can charge tenants in order to receive reimbursement for necessary improvements or installations.
  • Limits the vacancy bonus provided to landlords on tenants who receive preferential rent as a way to stop the “churn” on these units.

Cuomo Sent Me an Email - The Deal is Done

You may have received it, too, as it's a form email. You decide if we got anything. But unless there's something surprising (pleasantly) in the details, it seems this is BS. Everything below is from Cuomo:

Dear Fellow New Yorker,

This week we reached an agreement with legislative leaders that addresses many of the important issues facing New York.

At the beginning of this year, I laid out a bold vision for New York—one that promised to expand opportunity, make our communities more affordable, transform our state's education system, and improve social justice across our state. Today, we continued our work to deliver on those promises.

This legislation continues the progress our state has made over the past four years, and takes the following steps:
  • Extends and strengthens rent laws in the New York City area to protect more than two million tenants, while at the same time renewing the property tax cap—which has already saved $800 for the typical property owner—and providing more than $1.3 billion in new property tax cuts for working and middle class families.
  • Extends the 421-a program to keep this important incentive in place to continue creating affordable housing while representatives of the labor and real estate community work toward a long-term agreement.
  • Includes $250 million in new support for nonpublic schools to cover mandated costs, building on our historic investment in public school aid in this year's state budget.
  • Extends mayoral control of schools in New York City for one year, maintaining an idea that has worked well since 2002.
  • Restructures the cap on charter schools to enable new charter schools to open and offer parents additional choice in education.
You can read more about the agreement here.

Coupled with the accomplishments throughout the legislative session, these reforms will build a better New York and improve the lives and livelihoods of people in virtually every corner of the state.

I am proud to have fought for these changes and look forward to signing them into law.

As the 2015 legislative session draws to a close, I want to simply say thank you. Each and every day, I am humbled by the passion, dedication, and vision of the people of New York. Let’s continue to work together to keep our state moving forward and create opportunity for all New Yorkers.
Sincerely,

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Prediction on What Albany Will Do via Rent Stabilized Apartments

Just follow the money. The money will win.

And while I'm talking about money, how dare any politician who is supposed to be for affordable housing and "the little guy" (ie, the middle class), accept money from the REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York), much less be seen at its annual banquet. The purpose of the REBNY is to get rid of tenant rental protections, make all apartments market rate, and build high-rises for the wealthy. From the REBNY website: "The Real Estate Board of New York unites more than 16,000 talented, influential real estate professionals as it works to protect, improve and advance the business of real estate in New York City." Rob Speyer, who ruined Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village during his reign here and his "best practices," is the Chairman of the REBNY.





Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's Just a Matter of Hanging On


It's over. New York City is dying a slow death, bought by the wealthy and for the wealthy, and sometimes (many times?) not even wealthy New Yorkers. Now it's just a matter of hanging on and trying to enjoy what we have left for whatever time period we have left.

Thank you to our politicians, from City Councilpersons--all the way up.

BTW, this has nothing to do with any new information about the current hold-up in Albany on rent regulations, though I suspect it will once we learn of the agreement, whenever it comes.