Water Flowing Up

Water rates could go up 7 percent in July under the schedule proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection. The average metered apartment bill would go up to $610 per year. Thirty thousand buildings still on frontage rates would be forced to either meter or go into the multifamily conservation program, with required conservation measures and a fixed rate of $894.15 per unit. Hearings are scheduled later this month.

In yet another complication of the Roberts case involving J51 tax benefits and rent regulation, the Appellate Division, First Department, ruled that Independence Plaza, a former Mitchell Lama project, was not subject to rent stabilization just because the City gave it J51 benefits for two years by mistake. Two and one half years after Roberts there are still dozens if not hundreds of fact patterns the courts are working through because the Legislature hasn’t clarified the law.

Two weeks ago James Nelson told ABO members at our March luncheon that there was $70 billion worth of collateralized mortgage obligations on New York real estate alone coming due this year. Yesterday, Trepp reported 52 percent of the five year commercial loans issued nationally in the first quarter of 2007 are now listed as non-performing and almost half of those are in some stage of foreclosure.

The median household income of rent stabilized tenants was $37,000 in 2010 vs. $52,260 for tenants in unregulated apartments, according to the Rent Guidelines Board 2012 Income and Affordability Study released today. The median stabilized rent in 2011 was $1,050 vs. $1,369 in unregulated units. Out of 126,315 non-payment cases calendared for hearing in Housing Court in 2011,  27,636 evictions were ordered.

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