Sie sind auf Seite 1von 3
R3 | REAL RENT REFORM CAMPAIGN c/o Met Council on Housing | 339 Lafayette Street, #301

R3 | REAL RENT REFORM CAMPAIGN

R3 | REAL RENT REFORM CAMPAIGN c/o Met Council on Housing | 339 Lafayette Street, #301

c/o Met Council on Housing | 339 Lafayette Street, #301 | New York, NY 10012

May 29, 2015

Speaker Carl E. Heastie New York State Assembly Albany, New York 12248

Dear Speaker Heastie:

Over a million families in rent-regulated housing are counting on you.

Affordable housing is at a crossroads. For the past two decades pro-landlord forces in state government have relentlessly attacked the rent regulation laws that protect tenants and preserve the affordable rental housing stock in New York City and three suburban counties.

R3

Hundreds of thousands of affordable apartments have already been converted to market-rate status

in the downstate metropolitan region.

With less than three weeks to go to the expiration of the rent and co-op protection laws, two of the three men in the room are hostile to stronger rent and eviction protections, leaving you as tenants’ only voice for preserving the rent-protected housing stock. The Senate Republicans are owned by the New York City real estate industry, and Governor Cuomo has openly sided with landlords by calling for a renewal of the rent laws in their current weakened form.

Unless we reverse course over the remaining days of the legislative session, we are proceeding on a path that will lead to the inevitable death of this vital program.

With massive campaign contributions and illegal corruption schemes, pro-landlord forces have secured deregulation amendments that have also placed a target on the backs of the remaining rent-regulated tenants, encouraging predatory behavior by speculators who buy up rent-regulated property and then aggressively harass tenants to empty the buildings.

Under your predecessors, the State Assembly consistently failed to stop these losses. In 1993 and again in 2003, the Assembly was either outmaneuvered by or complicit with the Senate Republicans, passing anti-tenant deregulation amendments. In 1997, it was even worse, when then-Speaker

realrentreform.org | 212-979-6238 x 203

REAL RENT REFORM R3
REAL
RENT
REFORM
R3
R3 | REAL RENT REFORM CAMPAIGN c/o Met Council on Housing | 339 Lafayette Street, #301

R3 | REAL RENT REFORM CAMPAIGN

R3 | REAL RENT REFORM CAMPAIGN c/o Met Council on Housing | 339 Lafayette Street, #301

c/o Met Council on Housing | 339 Lafayette Street, #301 | New York, NY 10012

Sheldon Silver agreed to a staggering array of unnecessary and damaging givebacks to the Senate and Governor Pataki that essentially gutted the rent laws.

In the most recent sunset year, 2011, the rent laws were at least renewed with no further givebacks to landlords, but the renewal bill left intact the loopholes that allow landlords to remove vacant apartments from the system, as well as all the loopholes that allow landlords to jack regulated rents up to the point that many tenants can no longer afford, forcing them to move. Despite attempts by Governor Cuomo to portray the 2011 extender as a great victory for tenants, at best the bill represented a draw with the real estate lobby, while allowing further deregulation of a devastating number of affordable apartments. Another “victory” like 2011 and it will all be over.

As you are surely aware, a straight extender, or an extender with minor improvements, would be a terrible defeat for affordable housing. In particular, failure to repeal Vacancy Deregulation amendments would cause the inevitable loss over the next few years of the largest affordable housing stock in the state.

R3

Some Assembly Democrats are telling tenants, “There is not much we can do, the Senate will not

pass these bills, and we have limited leverage.” Waving the white flag of surrender with this defeatist, self-fulfilling prophecy is the last thing we need our allies in the Assembly to do — this is the time we need you to stand strong and lead the fight for working families.

We do not accept that the Assembly lacks leverage. There are numerous issues that are important

to the Governor and his allies in the Senate GOP, and you have the ability to fight back. This is the

time when those legislators who understand the importance of maintaining a stock of rent-protected

housing must stand up, and stand firm, for real rent reform:

Repeal of Vacancy Deregulation Re-regulation of the hundreds of thousands of deregulated units we have lost in the last two decades Closing of loopholes that increasingly make rent-regulated housing unaffordable

Under your leadership, the Assembly passed such a bill, A7526, on May 19. While we have concerns about some features of this bill, it represents on balance a strong pro-rent regulation statement by your house. This statement must become a commitment to engage in serious

negotiations with the Governor and the Senate, and to use leverage to win significant improvements

in our rent laws. In past years the Assembly has passed symbolic one-house tenant bills, then caved without applying pressure to the Senate to enact them into law. We hope this is not the case now.

realrentreform.org | 212-979-6238 x 203

REAL RENT REFORM R3
REAL
RENT
REFORM
R3
  • R3 | REAL RENT REFORM CAMPAIGN

R3 | REAL RENT REFORM CAMPAIGN c/o Met Council on Housing | 339 Lafayette Street,

c/o Met Council on Housing | 339 Lafayette Street, #301 | New York, NY 10012

This year’s opportunity for real rent reform might never come again.

With the media finally paying attention to the connection between real estate money and policy outcomes, and with a spotlight turned on Glenwood Management — at the center of scandals

involving the former leaders of both houses, as well as the single biggest contributor to Governor

Cuomo — the time is now for a serious effort to restore our rent laws.

The world now knows that the existing rent laws are the product of a corrupt process that led to the arrest of both former leaders of the legislature. Mr. Speaker, you have the power to reject and negate this corruption with your actions in the coming weeks. You can be a hero to the tenants of New York City and Nassau, Westchester and Rockland Counties. We urge you not to fail.

Sincerely,

Sarah Desmond,

Executive Director,

Housing Conservation Coordinators

R3 | REAL RENT REFORM CAMPAIGN c/o Met Council on Housing | 339 Lafayette Street,

Alyssa Aguilera,

Executive Director, VOCAL-NY Action Fund

Ava Farkas,

Executive Director, Met Council on Housing

R3

R3 | REAL RENT REFORM CAMPAIGN c/o Met Council on Housing | 339 Lafayette Street,

Dennis Hanratty,

Executive Director,

Mount Vernon

United Tenants

R3 | REAL RENT REFORM CAMPAIGN c/o Met Council on Housing | 339 Lafayette Street,

Jeannie Dubnau, Chair,

Jeannie Dubnau, Chair,

Jennifer A Flynn,

Frank Lang,

Michael McKee,

Riverside Edgecombe

Executive Director,

Director of Housing,

Treasurer,

Neighborhood

VOCAL-NY

St. Nicks Alliance

Tenants Political

Association

Association Action Committee
Association Action Committee

Action Committee

Action Committee

Harvey Esptein,

Ramon Peguero,

Michelle de la Uz

Steve Herrick,

Associate Director,

Associate Director,

Executive Director,

Executive Director,

Executive Director,

Executive Director,

Urban Justice Center

Southside United HDFC - Los Sures

Fifth Avenue Committee, Inc.

Cooper Square

Committee

Jeannie Dubnau, Chair, Jennifer A Flynn, Frank Lang, Michael McKee, Riverside Edgecombe Executive Director, Director of
Jeannie Dubnau, Chair, Jennifer A Flynn, Frank Lang, Michael McKee, Riverside Edgecombe Executive Director, Director of

Sue Susman,

Pat Singer,

Susan Steinberg,

Stephanie Lasher,

President,

Sue Susman

Founder,

Board Chair,

President,

Central Park Gardens Tenants’ Association

Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants
Association

Brighton Neighborhood Association

Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association Brighton Neighborhood Association

Community Free

Democrats

Community Free Democrats

Marc L. Greenberg,

Nikki Ledger,

Executive Director, Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing

R3 | REAL RENT REFORM CAMPAIGN c/o Met Council on Housing | 339 Lafayette Street,

President, 30 Sickles St. Association

Nikki Ledger

realrentreform.org | 212-979-6238 x 203

REAL RENT REFORM R3
REAL
RENT
REFORM
R3