De Blasio Announces Wish-List of Rent Regulation Reforms

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The mayor has promised to fight for tenant interests. But he's also promised to build lots of affordable housing, and will depend on developers and property-owners to construct most of it.

The mayor has promised to fight for tenant interests. But he's also promised to build lots of affordable housing, and will depend on developers and property-owners to construct most of it.

With the clock ticking toward the deadline to renew rent regulations that affect nearly a million apartments in the city, Mayor de Blasio has at long last announced the reforms he wants to see.

In a statement on Tuesday, City Hall said the mayor seeks to:

·”End High-Rent Vacancy Decontrol: The City is calling for the elimination of vacancy decontrol. Currently, a vacant apartment with a rent of $2,500 per month may be deregulated.”

·”End the Vacancy Allowance: The City is calling for eliminating the 20 percent increase in monthly rent when tenants vacate an apartment. This allowance has created strong incentives for bad actors to pressure tenants out of their homes in the hopes of faster-rising rents.”

·”Make Individual Apartment Improvement (IAI) and Major Capital Improvement (MCI) Increases Temporary: The City is calling for the current permanent rent increases for building-wide or individual apartments to be made temporary. Costs from increased services or improvements to individual apartments would be spread over 10 years, while building-wide or system improvements could be spread over 7 years. Long-term rent would be unaffected, and would reset after the fixed period.”

The statement doesn’t say de Blasio supports recapturing some of the thousands of apartments already lost to vacancy decontrol, as the tenants’ favored legislation does. It also doesn’t address the supposed problems with preferential rents, which some advocates say forces rent-stabilized tenants to live under a financial Sword of Damocles. And missing from the statement was any mention of how City Hall wants to reshape 421-a, the expensive tax abatement also up for renewal in June.

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11 thoughts on “De Blasio Announces Wish-List of Rent Regulation Reforms

  1. How is it any of his business whether private property has the temerity to finally turn a profit after the departure of a regulated tenant? Doesn’t he have income property of his own? Why is he demanding that other private property owners bear even more of a burden than NYCHA? How is that not choosing a small number of private entities to bear a the brunt of a burden claimed by politicians?

    There is nothing in these regulated buildings – no public subsidization, no special leniency that creates an indebtedness by the private building owners to the general public in such a way that we are beasts of burden for the polticians’ agenda.

    If he is saying preferential rents are a bad thing then he is promoting only writing leases to market tenants who can afford market rents, correct?

    Everything that this city does is telling us to charge market and keep turning over market units at the expense of market tenants in order to continue to subsidize rent regulated tenants.

    I highly doubt this comment will be posted but we’ll see.

  2. why doesn’t he regulate all rental property in the city instead of those who fell under rent regulations? Government is specifically hurting a specific group of owners for the appearances of pro affordable housing while using nonregulated housing’s press releases of uncommonly high profits to frame the former who are not beneficiaries of such uncommon success claimed by the latter. This brazen inconsistency, inappropriateness and bias is supported by the press.

  3. Year 1: Invest 100,000 in your building.
    Year 3: Get 65% of the investment approved as an MCI
    Year 4: Start collecting an extra 800/month * 65%
    Year 14 Stop collecting the extra 800/month *65%

    The return on this ‘investment’ is easily -50%, depending on interest rates; best case is around -20%.

    This is not a realistic housing policy if you want to preserve and grow the housing stock.

      • It is how the MCI works. You do the work, then apply for a rent increase from DHCR. In 2-3 years they get back to you, but they always knock off a chunk of your expenses.

        The carrot of doing these upgrades was that they *permanently* increased the rent. If the rule is that you can only get whatever amount of the money DHCR is willing to allow you to get, and it takes 10 years, then you are trading current $$$ now for fewer $$$ in the future.

        Personally, i’ll put my money elsewhere.

  4. I like these proposed changes. This will help keep apartments affordable for many people.

    For perspective, there are people living in NYC right now who make $50,000/year. They would NOT qualify to rent a 1br apartment in Manhattan because they don’t make 40 times the going monthly rate for a 1 br in Manhattan. Rent regulation would help keep the 2 br apartments affordable for those people earning $50,000/year and their roommates.

  5. He needs to change that math on so called Affordable Housing. As well as lead on working on requirements for this lottery procedure. Talk to me.

  6. Pingback: New York’s Rent-Reg Reforms Must Go Further | NYC Informer

  7. Pingback: Tenant Advocates Unsatisfied with De Blasio’s 421-a Proposal | NYC Informer

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