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.