January 25, 2013 by westsideneighborhoodalliance
Tenants are at risk of losing the best leverage we have to further strengthen New York State’s Rent Laws. Assembly bill # A3354 is currently pending in the assembly after the same bill was previously passed in the Senate. Right now, the Assembly bill does the following:
► renews the J-51 tax subsidy program without significant improvements to J-51 (it will still be available to landlords of market rate housing as of right, and will still subsidize cosmetic improvements such as granite countertops) and without any improvements to the rent laws except for two significant changes to the Loft Law that will benefit a few hundred loft tenants;
► it renews the tax subsidy for market rate coops and condos, allowing shareholders and condo owners to continue to pay reduced real property taxes as if they were 1 or 2 family homes;
► and, in its most outrageous feature, the bill authorizes 421-a tax giveaways to five luxury housing developments currently under construction in Manhattan, including One57, the “billionaires’ tower” on West 57th Street and Seventh Avenue – luxury buildings that are currently ineligible for a 421-a giveaway.
As you can see, there is no mention of strengthening any of the laws that rent regulated tenants need. Assembly member Linda Rosenthal has written a sign on letter that you can see here, that details how this bill gives landlords exactly what they want, while giving rent regulated tenants nothing. The lead sponsor of A3354 is Keith L.T. Wright (Dem. Manhattan), the newly-appointed chair of the Assembly Housing Committee. In addition to getting our assembly members to sign onto Assembly member Rosenthal’s letter, we need to call Assemblyman Keith Wright at 212-866-5809and make sure that he knows that the bill he is sponsoring is bad for tenants. Please call Keith Wright and urge him to remove his support from this bill and also call your local assembly members and ask them to sign on to AM Rosenthal’s letter. The city needs your help!