5 thoughts on “Loft Law Update Stirs Tensions Among Tenants, Housing Advocates, Pols

  1. “McKee said loft tenants have paid a price: During the wait to pass this bill, some loft tenants were evicted out of loft units which they had lived for decades. McKee lays the blame on Kavanagh and Salazar.”

    This is absolutely untrue. There was one tenant who may have been evicted — which even still is unlikely because a tenant can’t legally be evicted from their loft if the unit does not have a certificate of occupancy.
    See: Chazon, LLC v Maugenest

    But supposing he did get evicted, this tenant’s application had been dismissed with prejudice by a judge in 2012 because it was his art studio, not his primary residence, which he’d lied about on his application to the Loft Board. (Salazar’s office had also tried to help this fellow, but his attorney had told him that sharing any information about his case would scuttle the bill…)

    There were no other evictions.

    It’s unclear why Mr. McKee would tell these lies. It’s also unclear why, after a long and celebrated career as an advocate, he felt that this was a hill worth dying on — so much so that he was willing to hold the (entirely unrelated) rent laws package hostage over it. Salazar wisely chose the rent laws.

    Hopefully, if any good comes out of this episode it will be the passage of legislation that strengthens protections for manufacturing tenants and zoning.

    • That’s right! Without protections for manufacturing the type of and number of relatively highly-paying jobs available to low and moderate-income households will shrink further, making overall housing affordability worse in the long run. It’s unfortunate that City Limits clearly has a bias in favor of housing preservation (and for that matter rent control but that’s an argument for another day). Same old, same old…..

    • Chazon V. Maugenest only applies to covered loft units, and prohibits landlords from bringing an action for non-payment in Housing Court without pleading and proving that they are current in their obligations under the Loft Law. A landlord can bring a commercial holdover case in State Supreme Court against an unprotected loft tenant. That is why the updated law was so important: to cover those tenants and protect them from eviction.

  2. So many errors in this article, including about 538 Johnson’s “basis for application” but I won’t even get into that.

    The biggest joke is that Salazar is becoming a mouthpiece for Evergreen Exchange: their goal in the IBZ is NOT to bring more industrial businesses into the area. The entire IBZ is and has been vacant for decades and it’s because the landlords are waiting on businesses such as WeWorks and Wholefoods—interest in this being created by the businesses that Leah Archibald represents, who are making Bushwick a center of night life and gentrification. The Brownfeld Opportunity Zone plan predates the proposed rezoning by DCP and exemplifies how communities of color are targeted for tax exemptions by the state, to bring in “technology” and retail with the help of people like Leah Archibald, who is falsely claiming Industry. Groups like CUFFH are buying into this false narrative, though when asked, provided ZERO proof that eliminating Bloomberg real estate favored exclusions to the loft law would eliminate a single industrial job. Salazar’s original bill left open the entire M3 zone to loft law coverage, something the tenants did not advocate for.
    Loft tenant income and rent burden has not only been inflated but flat out lied about. The average loft tenant makes minimum wage and are a diverse group. Their fairy tale “wait list” for locations for businesses to move into is simply not true. Reynoso is the one who made this “racially charged” and he should be one to talk about supporting his people—on what end of the cash register was he when his community was dealing with TPT scams, to steal housing due to tax burdens? He was voting in the affirmative. He could have invited loft tenants to the community rezoning plan but he purposefully chose not too.

    Robert Camacho of CB4 should talk to Edwin Delgado of CB4, and ask him why he applied for variances to turn his industrial space into a gentrified restaurant, while then turning around and spouting off as a defender of industry. I’m not surprised however, since “progressives” like Salazar’s office employ the sons of famous landlord lawyers, who pride themselves in evicting tenants. Just because one rich kid from the upper east side who works in your office and moves into a loft and tries to infiltrate a tenant organization doesn’t mean that kind of duplicity extends itself to the average loft tenant. Loft tenants were purposefully barred from conversation and then accused of the same—There is ZERO factual support for the idea that this bill poses any threat to existing industry. Protected occupants simply get in the way of those trying to cash in on the DCP/Evergreen/St. Nick’s plan to snatch “community designated spaces” for what turns out to be profit. We see you. Kudos to Davila, Glick, and eventually Kavanagh and Salazar for standing up for tenant rights in the face of misinformation.

    This whole thing stinks of hypocrisy and posturing.

  3. Alex Fennell of CUFFH states that they serve constituencies with an income of $35,000 for a family of 3, yet they carry water for developers whose “affordable units” require a minimum income of as high as $84,000 for a family of 2. Affordable to whom? Not to mention that most loft tenants are live/work, so the rents pay for housing AND studio/workshop space.

    The so-called affordable apartments rent for about $34 per sq ft per year. The average rent protected loft for less than $20 per sq ft per year. So yes, “let’s be frank,” Affordable housing supported by CUFFH is “not affordable housing.”

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