Our Work

Cooper Square Committee’s Transitional Homeless Housing Plan for LGBT Youth Moving Forward

The NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is expected to file the Urban Development Action Area Plan for the Bea Arthur Residence at 222 E. 13th St. with the City Council in the coming weeks. The City Council must pass a resolution designating the project a UDAAP, and authorizing a long term tax exemption, which is a formality since local Councilmember Rosie Mendez is a strong supporter of the project and helped secure $3.3 million for its development. The Cooper Square Committee (CSC) is partnering with the Ali Forney Center (AFC) to renovate a vacant building at 222 E. 13th St. to house 18 homeless LGBT youth ages 18-24. CSC has done the bulk of the pre-development work, and will oversee the renovation, and AFC will rent up and manage the building when it’s completed. Project architects, Magnusson Architecture and Planning are expected to file the approved building plans with the NYC Dept. of Buildings within the next week. “We are hoping to acquire the building by the end of May, and start renovation immediately after that” says CSC Executive Director, Steve Herrick.

 

Experienced out-of-control construction? Take the RTE survey!

rte2014feb-img

We are working on collecting data on what tenants face during mismanaged construction so that we can create new laws and put an end to it.  If this is something you have experienced, please come into the CSC office (61 E 4th St) to pick up and fill out a Real-Time Enforcement Construction survey.  Tenant leaders and CSC organizers can also bring surveys to your building for you and your neighbors to fill out, or you can get help get involved with mass distribution yourself! Email Brandon for more details.

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Real-Time Enforcement (RTE) Information Session Next Wednesday! 2/26

rte2014feb-img

Come learn how to keep your home safe and livable during construction!

Weds 2/26/2014, 7 PM – 8:30 PM 

59-61 E. 4th St., 4th Floor, Manhattan

 (handicapped accessible)

At this session you can:

  • Hear more about the RTE Campaign’s 2014 agenda
  • Get involved with a subcommittee
    (survey distrib., media relations, regulation reform, actions/demonstrations)
  • Take the survey, & distribute to your neighbors
  • General Construction Q & A

Refreshments served!  For more info,  download the flyer, or contact Brandon Kielbasa: (212) 228-8210 ext 4, rte@coopersquare.org

NYCHA Tenants Fight Infill Luxury Housing Plan

Cooper Square Committee members and staff joined hundreds of tenants who turned out for a rally and public hearing held by the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) on July 24th at Pace University to protest NYCHA plans to lease 18 parcels of land at eight Manhattan housing projects for luxury housing. 8 parcels at five Lower East Side projects are part of the plan – at Smith Houses, Baruch Houses, Laguardia Houses, Campos Plaza and Meltzer Tower. 

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Senior Activities in July

COOPER SQUARE COMMITTEE/ MUTUAL HOUSING ASSOCIATION
Senior Health, Advocacy, and Recreation Program (SHARP)
FREE Neighborhood Activities

The Cooper Square Committee/Mutual Housing Association SHARP Program has created this newsletter to inform you of free activities in the neighborhood for your enjoyment and enrichment.

These activities are being offered at the following locations. Scroll down for a calendar.

Tompkins Square Library

331 East 10th Street, near Avenue B

212-228-4747. www.nypl.org

Third Street Music School Settlement

235 East 11th Street, near Second Avenue

212-777-3240. www.thirdstreetmusicschool.org

University Settlement: Project Home

189 Allen St, South of Houston St.

(212) 505-1995

We recommend that you call or email these sites before visiting to confirm that the event listed has not been changed or cancelled.  We hope you will take advantage of these rich neighborhood services. We would enjoy your feedback and hope you will tell us of other activities you would like to see added.  When you visit one of these locations you will learn about more activities and others sites that are not listed here.  We will continue to expand this list as we learn of more offers.  Please email Joyce Ravitz at Cooper Square Committee with your questions or comments, or call 212-228-8210.

 

JULY EVENTS
FREE                                     FREE                                                  FREE

MONDAY tuesday wednesday Thursday Saturday
July 1 July 2
1:00 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement.Creative Sculpture Workshop
July 3
4:30 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement. Adult Movie Night: “Friends with Kids”
July 4 July 6
July 8 July 9
1:00 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement.Creative Sculpture Workshop
July 10
4:30 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement. Adult Movie Night: “Equilibrium”
July 11
12:30 p.m.
ThirdStreetMusicSchool. Settlement Players at AbeLebewohlPark
July 13
1:00 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement. New York Opera Forum presents Rossini’s “La Cenerentola”
July 15
4:30-5:30p.m.
Project Home
Yoga Class, all levels welcome
July 16
1:00 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement.Creative Sculpture Workshop
July 17
4:30 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement. Adult Movie Night: “Shall We Dance”
July 18
12:30 p.m.
ThirdStreetMusicSchool.David Moreno Odd Morning Quartet at AbeLebewohlPark
July 20
July 22
4:30-5:30p.m.
Project Home
Yoga Class, all levels welcome
July 23
1:00 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement.Creative Sculpture Workshop
July 24
4:30 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement. Adult Movie Night: “The Bourne Legacy”
July 25
12:30 p.m.
ThirdStreetMusicSchool.Gypsy Jazz Caravan at AbeLebewohlPark
July 27
July 29 July 30 July 31
4:30 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement. Adult Movie Night: “One Day”
 

NYCHA Infill Plan

Succession And NYCHA
Telephone: 347-903-8428 (90evictNYCHA)
Fax: 415-873-1754
Email: Contact.SuccessionAndNYCHA@gmail.com@gmail.com
Twitter: 
@NYCHAsuccession
Facebook: 
SuccessionAtNYCHA
Mailing List: http://groups.google.com/group/evictnycha

Senior Activities in June

COOPER SQUARE COMMITTEE/ MUTUAL HOUSING ASSOCIATION
Senior Health, Advocacy, and Recreation Program (SHARP)
FREE Neighborhood Activities

The Cooper Square Committee/Mutual Housing Association SHARP Program has created this newsletter to inform you of free activities in the neighborhood for your enjoyment and enrichment.

These activities are being offered at the following locations. Scroll down for a calendar.

1. Ottendorfer Library

135 Second Avenue, north of 8th Street

212-674-0947. www.nypl.org

Here are descriptions of activities on the table at this site. They are marked with:

*        Knitting Circle. (Got knitting Skills?  If not, want to learn? Everyone is required  to bring their own yarn and simple knitting needles.)

**      Open Lab Computer Class (An introduction to the Internet, including getting a connected, using a web browser and navigating web pages.)

2. Tompkins Square Library

331 East 10th Street, near Avenue B

212-228-4747. www.nypl.org

3. Third Street Music School Settlement

235 East 11th Street, near Second Avenue

212-777-3240. www.thirdstreetmusicschool.org

And, at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, 2nd  Avenue and 10th Street

http://stmarksbowery.org/calendar.html

We recommend that you call or email these sites before visiting to confirm that the event listed has not been changed or cancelled.  We hope you will take advantage of these rich neighborhood services. We would enjoy your feedback and hope you will tell us of other activities you would like to see added.  When you visit one of these locations you will learn about more activities and others sites that are not listed here.  We will continue to expand this list as we learn of more offers.  Please email Joyce Ravitz at Cooper Square Committee with your questions or comments, or call 212-228-8210.

JUNE EVENTS

FREE                                                FREE                                            FREE

Tuesday Thursday Saturday
June 1 10:00 a.m.3rdStreetMusicSchool“String ‘Stravaganza” (at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery)2:00 p.m.

Ottendorfer Library

Knitting Circle*

June 4  11:00 a.m3rdStreetMusicSchoolNew Horizons Band Concert (at 3rdStreetMusicSchool) June 6 11:00 a.m.Ottendorfer LibraryOpen Lab Computer Class**12:30 pm

Mike Freeman ZonaVibe (at St. Mark’s Church-in-the Bowery)

 

June 8 1:00 p.m.Three Orchestras Concert (at St. Mark’s Church-in-the- Bowery)2:00 p.m.Ottendorfer Library

Knitting Circle*

June 11 June 13 11:00 a.m.Ottendorfer LibraryOpen Lab Computer Class**12:30 pm

Arturo O’Farrell Latin Jazz Group (at St. Mark’s Church-in-the Bowery

June 15 1:00 p.m.Tompkins Square LibraryNew York Opera Forum presents Handel’s Alcina 2:00 p.m.

Ottendorfer Library

Knitting Circle*

June 18 June 20 11:00 a.m.Ottendorfer LibraryOpen Lab Computer Class**12:30 p.m.

3rdStreetMusicSchool

Eve Sicular and Metropolitan Klezmer (at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery)

June 22 2:00 p.m.Ottendorfer LibraryKnitting Circle*
June 25 June 27 11:00 a.m.Ottendorfer LibraryOpen Lab Computer Class** June 29 2:00 p.m.Ottendorfer LibraryKnitting Circle*

From a Satisfied CSC Client

In the summer of 2010, I was facing some financial difficulty and had fallen behind on rent payments for my rent stabilized apartment on Ave B. Fearing that I would be evicted from my apartment, I was recommended by a friend to get in touch with Brandon Kielbasa at The Cooper Square Committee. Brandon had previously helped her with some issues that she was having in her Lower East Side apartment, and she informed me that the Committee was a great recourse for East Village residents.

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City Funds Homeless LGBT Youth Housing Project Proposed by Cooper Square Committee and the Ali Forney Center

The Cooper Square Committee and the Ali Forney Center have been awarded $3 million by the City Council and an additional $300,000 by Borough President, Scott Stringer to develop housing for up to 18 homeless LGBT youth at 222 East 13th Street, which will be formally named the Bea Arthur Residence.  Bea Arthur was an advocate and supporter of the Ali Forney Center and its mission.  Community Board 3 unanimously recommended that the site be transferred to the Ali Forney Center and the Cooper Square Committee for this use.

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Important Seward Park ULURP hearing at City Planning on Wednesday, July 11th:

The City Planning Commission will be holding a  hearing regarding the large scale development plan for the  Seward Park Urban Renewal Area on Wednesday, July 11th at 10 am at 22 Reade Street, 6th floor, between Lafayette St. and Broadway.  The plan calls for at least 900 mixed income apartments, of which 50% will be affordable to low, moderate and middle income households.  The plan also will create several hundred thousand square feet of retail space, a 1/4 acre park, and relocate the Essex Street Market south of Delancey Street in a new state of the art building.
This plan was the result of three years of planning meetings by Community Board 3, which unanimously endorsed the ULURP application at a May 22nd full board meeting.  Now that the Borough President has also signed off on the plan, the City Planning Commission will vote on the plan soon after the public hearing.  We are urging our members to come out and show your support for the plan. It is a breakthrough compromise on the more than $500 million plan.  The plan will create hundreds of construction jobs over the coming decade, and hundreds of permanent jobs in the new stores and restaurants.

 

While we strongly endorse the plan, we are calling on the City Planning Commission for some improvements:
  • Urge the City Planning Commission to exclude big box stores (over 30,000 sq. ft.)
  • We want a solid commitment that 50% of all full-time jobs be for residents of CB3 at prevailing wages for construction jobs and living wages for all other jobs.
  • The city must provide compensation for Essex Street market vendors who will need to relocate to a new market south of Delancey St.
  • Honor the commitment to relocate income qualified former site tenants, and notify them of their right to apply for and receive first priority for any new housing.

Manhattan/Bronx Town Hall on Thursday, June 7, 2012

6:30-8:30pm at the Hartley House,
Stop landlords from getting J-51 renewal unless tenants get stronger protection!
Reduce preferential rent increases
Limit Major Capital Improvement increases to costs
End MBR increases for rent-controlled tenants
Reform the Rent Guidelines Board!

Come tell your story as a tenant.
Cooper Square Committee is a co-sponsor, and a member of the R3 Campaign.

2012 RGB Public Hearings

NOW IS THE TIME TO PROTEST HIGHER RENTS!

The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) has proposed a rent increase
of up to 4% per year and landlords are demanding even
higher “supplemental” increases. Turn-out for the hearings is
critical!
The RGB has voted for excessive rent increases unaffordable to
tenants (the 99%) throughout NYC–despite reports that document
that most landlords (the 1%) are doing quite well. Do you struggle
to get basic repairs? Is your landlord deregulating apartments to
charge “market” rents? Demand an end to unfair rent hikes.

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Seward Park ULURP Vote this Wednesday!

Community Board 3′s Seward Park Committee will be voting on the ULURP application for the large urban renewal area this Wednesday, May 16th. Come show your support for permanently affordable housing, living wage jobs, and responsible economic development without big box stores. Location: 184 Eldridge St. at 6:30 pm.

To see a map of the sites, comprising 7 acres, and to read the EIS Statement and the ULURP application, click on the link below.

http://www.nycedc.com/project/seward-park-mixed-use-development-project

Learn About Affordable Housing, Small Businesses and New Jobs Coming to Seward Park Area

SPURAmapWhen:  Tuesday, April 10th 2012, 7:00 PM

Where:  Masaryk Towers Community Room- 75 Columbia Street

What: Special Informational Meeting on New Plan for Seward Park Urban Renewal Area

Are you a former Seward Park Site Tenant?

Do you or a family member need affordable housing?

After many years of inaction and broken promises, a compromise agreement was reached when Community Board #3 brought together all community stakeholders. The plan will include mixed income housing (50% affordable and 50% market-rate), as well as jobs, retail stores creation and cultural activities for the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area.

Please come to an important informational meeting and find out how you can help make this plan become a reality.

SEWARD PARK AREA REDEVELOPMENT COALITION (SPARC)sparc40@gmail.com / c/o CHARAS P. O. Box 2258 NY, NY  10009

LEARN ABOUT PROPOSED MIXED-USE PLAN FOR SPURA

SPURAmap

Where & When

University Settlement

184 Eldridge St (btwn Rivington/Delancey Sts)
Weds April 18, 2012
5:00-6:00pm – Technical Question & Answer Session
6:30 pm – Public Forum

 

SUPPORT:

  • PERMANENT Affordable Housing
  • at least 50% for local residents (Community Board #3)
  • priority for former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) site tenants  (those who lived on Willet, Pitt, Attorney, Clinton, Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Ludlow, Grand, Broome, & Delancey Streets)
  • COMMUNITY JOBS COMMITMENT
  • NO BIG BOX STORES

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!

come & bring your neighbors

SEWARD PARK AREA REDEVELOPMENT COALITION (SPARC)sparc40@gmail.com / c/o CHARAS P. O. Box 2258 NY, NY  10009

New Greening Initiative On The Way

The Con Edison Settlment Fund Committee of Community Board 3 voted on Thursday, Jan. 5th to approve a $65,000 proposal we submitted in November.  We plan to outreach to at least two dozen low income cooperatives (HDFCs) near the East 14th Street Con Ed plant, and assist them with applying for NYS Weatherization funds and EmPower New York funds available to make their buildings more energy efficient and reduce their heating and air conditioning costs.

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Community Board 3 Supports LGBT Youth Housing

On October 24th, we received a unanimous vote of support (11 – 0) from the Land Use Committee of Community Board 3 for 222e13our proposal (in partnership with the Ali Forney Center) to turn a vacant city owned building at 222 E. 13th St. into housing for 12 – 18 homeless LGBT youth.  Community Board 3′s resolution will urge HPD (the City’s housing agency) to grant us site control so that we can apply for the funds needed to renovate the building.  We appreciate the support of the more than 500 people who signed the petition in support of our proposal.  We will continue to need community support to move this project forward to a successful conclusion.  There are over 1,500 homeless LGBT youth in NYC, so this is a small, but important, step in addressing the larger crisis. Get involved.  Help make a difference!

If you want to help do outreach to garner further support, contact Steve.

St Marks Bookshop – Letter from Community Board 3

September 28, 2011

 

We are writing to convey Manhattan Community Board 3′s support of the St. Mark’s Bookshop, a tenant of Cooper Union residing at 115 East 9th Street. It is our desire that it remain economically viable and in its current location for many years to come.

 

 

Since 1977, the St. Mark’s Bookshop has served the East Village as an independent bookstore offering books and reading materials customized to meet the needs of our unique neighborhood of students, artists, cultural institutions and other diverse groups. The St. Mark’s Bookshop has a loyal customer base of local residents who depend on this business to meet their needs.

 

Community Board 3 works closely with City and State agencies and elected officials as a platform for planning and decision making for our community. We recognize that the current recession has hit our community hard. It has caused local merchants to close their doors, giving way to what is becoming a glut of nightlife establishments and national chains that are permanently changing the character of our neighborhood. The St. Mark’s Bookshop typifies the type of businesses that we must retain, a business that is locally owned and has a long track record of success and deep roots in the community, and that provides daytime service and goods needed by the local residents.

 

Community Board 3 is proud to have Cooper Union as a part of our district and recognizes the significant contribution that your institution makes to so many individuals. We also understand that the recession has caused economic hardship for all of us and that you too have obligations to your constituents and donors. That being said, the revenue this lease represents to Cooper Union cannot be considered to be material in the scope of your vast enterprise, and that stands in stark contrast to the large impact it would have on our neighborhood if The St. Mark’s Bookshop were to fail.

 

Furthermore, the installation of The St. Mark’s Bookshop at this location was Cooper Union’s concession to this community for the much disputed construction of what was then a high rise dormitory.

 

Community Board 3 is asking that Cooper Union revisit the economic situation of The St. Mark’s Bookshop and the hardships it faces, and negotiate in good faith with it on a leasehold revision that will make it economically viable for this beloved bookshop to continue to remain open in its current location. We believe that without a meaningful rent concession The St. Mark’s Bookshop will potentially go the way of so many other local merchants and close its doors for good. This would be an enormous loss for our neighborhood.

 

We know that Cooper Union appreciates the unique character of the neighborhood in which it resides and has been and will continue to be an advocate for the welfare of that community. We sincerely hope that you will give this request the significant and thoughtful consideration that it deserves.

 

 

St Marks Bookshop – Letter of Support from Deborah Glick

August 3, 2011

 

T.C. Westcott

Vice President

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science

51 Cooper Square

New York, NY 10003

 

Dear Ms. Westcott;

 

While Cooper Union is a valued member of the community, the question of its special tax

treatment regarding its commercial real estate holdings has generated concern in the past.

The institution’s ability to provide a full tuition remission to its students is a valuable tool in

attracting the best students. Although the initial goal may have been to educate students from

the New York area, the changing mission of the institution has led to New York City taxpayers

essentially subsidizing students from places like Pennsylvania, or Texas or Alabama.

 

In the sweep of the past many years, much has been given to Cooper Union and Cooper Union

has been a good neighbor in many respects in return. Now there is an opportunity for a modest

but significant way for Cooper Union to assist the community in retaining another important

institution, the Saint Marks bookstore.

 

St. Mark’s is currently struggling to pay the market rent that Cooper Union is charging them at 31 Third

Avenue and assistance by Cooper Union could save this irreplaceable neighborhood institution. Given Cooper

Unions’ real estate investments, including the soon to be redeveloped 51 Astor Place as a fully commercial

building, I believe that a rent concession to St. Mark’s Bookshop would not constitute a large burden.

Furthermore, you would be greatly contributing to the artistic and community spirit of the neighborhood of

which you are part. Please do the right thing and help St. Mark’s Bookshop. The community would greatly

appreciate your contribution by helping to maintain this longstanding neighborhood business.

 

Sincerely,

Deborah J. Glick

Assemblymember

 

 

St Marks Bookshop – Letter of Support from Rosie Mendez

Dear Ms. Westcott:

I write to add my name to others who call upon Cooper Union to grant all favorable

consideration to the St. Mark’s Bookshop, an institution which has a long tradition in our

community and which serves an increasingly rare and admirable function. St. Marks is

currently struggling to pay the market rent that Cooper Union is charging them at 31

Third Avenue, and a significant rent concession by Cooper Union could save this

irreplaceable neighborhood institution.

St. Marks has occupied their small commercial space in the ground floor of your

dormitory building since the structure was built in the mid-1980’s. As I recall, Cooper

Union agreed to house the bookstore in this space, at least in part, as a concession to the

community when opposition arose to the construction of another dormitory along 3rd Ave.

I know that economic difficulties are affecting all manner of organizations in these trying

times. However, given the breath of Cooper Unions’ real estate investments, including

the soon to be redeveloped 51 Astor Place as a fully commercial building, I believe that a

rent concession to St. Mark’s Bookshop would not constitute a large burden for your

institution. It could on the other hand preserve a unique neighborhood bookstore.

I urge you to preserve St. Marks.

 

Sincerely,

Rosie Mendez

Councilwoman

cc: Claire McCarthy

 

Save the St. Marks Bookshop

Congratulations to the St. Marks Bookshop on receiving a rent reduction from Cooper Union, and thanks to everyone who signed our online petition in support of the bookstore and to Boro President Scott Stringer for intervening. Kudos to Joyce Ravitz and Frances Goldin for leading this effort.

Research Memos

Since coming aboard in May 2010, project coordinator and instructor John (also known as Edward) Dallas has been working hard to familiarize MHA residents with the operations and governance of the planned MHA housing co-op, through one-on-one meetings and workshops.  At the same time, John has also been working closely with the MHA board, the sponsor of the co-op conversion.  Drawing on his extensive dual legal and co-op background (elaborated on below as well as on his CV posted on this Web site), John’s most important activity in this collaboration has been an ongoing review of the MHA Cooperative Information Package or offering plan.  John’s findings and recommendations can be found in his research memorandums to the MHA board, some of which can be accessed here.

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Talking Points for the RGB

Rent Guidelines Board Public Hearings

Tenant Talking Points

 

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED RANGE OF RENT ADJUSTMENTS

At the RGB Preliminary Vote, the Rent Guidelines Board voted for rent increases ranging from 3%-5.75% for one year renewal leases commencing October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012 and from 6%-9% for two year renewal leases commencing October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012. In addition, the Board voted on a 1% fuel surcharge for buildings heated by fuel oil and a sublet allowance of 10%.

 

SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS

 

1. YOU

• Introduce yourself and provide personal details. We want to show the RGB how diverse rent stabilized tenants are. Make sure to include that you are a vital member of New York City and the ways you contribute to your community.

• Include information about the economic hardship you may be facing. For example, include if you live on a fixed income, if you lost your job, if you are supporting your kids or other members of your household, or if you are working a few jobs to support yourself.

• If you are a member of Tenants & Neighbors, please mention this to the RGB members.

 

 

2. YOUR HOUSING

• Tenancy: How long have you lived in your apartment?

o Are there many tenants in your building paying market rent OR is there a commercial unit in your building (a local business or non-profit renting space)?

 If so, emphasize that your landlord has other sources of income than the rent from rent stabilized units. Recommend that the Board pass the proviso presented by the tenant representatives where tenants should receive a 0% increase if they live in a building where less than 80% of units are occupied by rent stabilized or rent controlled units.

o Is there much turnover in your building?

 If so, emphasize that your landlord receives large rent increases each time there is a vacancy.

• Heating: Is your building heated with fuel oil? Is your building heated inefficiently? (Do you have to open a window in the winter? Is your apartment weatherized?)

 If so, recommend that the Board abolish the proposed fuel surcharge. Emphasize that you are bearing the cost of your owner’s decision to heat the building inefficiently and waste expensive oil.

• Services: What is the quality of services in your building?

o Does management make repairs? Are there days that you have gone without heat and hot water? Does your building have many code violations? Do you call 311 to report code violations?

 If so, recommend that buildings with high code violations should not receive rent increases for quality of services that does not meet habitability standards.

• Rent:

o Preferential Rent: Do you receive a preferential rent? If so, are you worried that when you sign your next lease renewal that your rent will be raised to the registered rent?

o Permanent Rent Increases: Have you received MCI (Major Capital Improvements) for building structural improvements or 1/40th rent increases for apartment renovations? How do these permanent rent increases impact your ability to pay each month’s rent?

 If you have had a MCI or 1/40th increase, emphasize that owners are reimbursed more than the cost of the improvement because these rent increases are permanent. Emphasize that the RGB should take into account that owners have other mechanisms for raising rent beyond RGB adjustments and therefore should pass the lowest possible rent increase.

o Illegal Overcharges: Do you believe that your rent has been illegally overcharged?

o SCRIE/DRIE: Do you qualify for these programs? If not, why? Are you just above the income threshold ($29,000 for SCRIE or $19,284 for an individual under DRIE)?

o Casado: Were you affected by the supplemental rent increase?

 If so, please speak concretely about how you were affected. Are you now paying more than 30% of your income towards rent? If so, please tell the RGB.

• Predatory Equity Questions:

o Is your owner a predatory equity landlord who has intentionally overpaid for your building, intending to displace tenants and destabilize units?

 

 

3. YOUR OWNER

A. Owners should bear their fair share of economic burden because their profits are increasing. The average net operating income (NOI) for owners throughout the city increased by 5.8% and increased 22.2% for all areas excluding Core Manhattan, according to RGB statistics. This figure is the income owners receive after they have paid off expenses.

By Borough:

• Brooklyn: In my borough, from 2008-2009, the median NOI for owners in Brooklyn increased by 22.3% according to the latest RGB statistics.

• Queens: In my borough, from 2008-2009, the median NOI for owners in Queens increased by 9.9% according to the latest RGB statistics.

• The Bronx: In my borough, from 2008-2009, the median NOI for owners in the Bronx increased by 29.9% according to the latest RGB statistics.

• Upper Manhattan: In Upper Manhattan, from 2008-2009, the median NOI for owners in Upper Manhattan increased by 22.3% according to RGB statistics.

 

* The RGB does not prepare statistics for Staten Island because there is too small a sample size of rent stabilized units. Staten Island households are not included in citywide numbers.

 

4. YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS

• RGB should consider a 0% rent increase for all tenants. If there is an increase, it should not be any higher than what the data presented by the RGB warrants and the RGB should keep in mind the incredible hardship that any increase at all will cause to most low and moderate income tenants.

• Certain tenants should receive no increase at all (e.g. tenants in buildings with high numbers of units that have already been deregulated and tenants in buildings with poor conditions).

• The RGB should not vote for a fuel surcharge.

 

Tenants & Neighbors is a grassroots non-profit organization that works with tenants to preserve affordable housing and strengthen tenants’ rights. For more information about testifying at the RGB, contact Jessie at 212-608-4320 ext. 306 or jlevine@tandn.org.

Rent Campaigns – Current Status

  • Rent Laws
    • 6/22/2011: A Rent Laws Deal has been reached by Governor Cuomo, Senator Skelos and Assembly Speaker Silver.  It renews the rent laws for 4 years and raises the vacancy decontrol threshold to $2,500 rent (from $2,000) and the income threshold has been raised to $200,000 (from $175,000).  The formula for Individual Apartment Improvement (IAI) rent increases has been changed from 1/40th of the cost of work to 1/60th of the cost.  Landlords will be limited to one vacancy renewal increase per year.  In exchange for these provisions strengthening tenant protections, the Legislature agreed to cap property tax increases at 2% per year.  For more details, follow us on Facebook.
  • Rent Guidelines Board:
    • On Monday 6/27, the Rent Guidelines Board voted for a 3.75% rent increase for 1-year leases and 7.25% increase for 2-year leases. We appreciate all the Cooper Square Committee members who turned out for the rally. City-wide, tenant turnout was not as high as tenant advocates would have liked.

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