Freezing in July

The Rent Stabilization Association, yesterday, brought the first of what could be several suits against the rent freeze voted last month by the New York City Rent Guidelines Board.

Rent freezes were also adopted in Rockland County, which approved 0% increases on both one and two year lease renewals, and Westchester County, which decided on 0% and .5%. Nassau voted .5% and 1% for one and two year renewals.

Major Capital Improvement rent increases are still available, but the forms are changing. DHCR yesterday issued a new RA 79 form and instructions. The new forms will be required for all applications after September 1st.

NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has created yet another department to look for tenant harassment, apparently believing that HPD’s Litigation Bureau, DHCR’s Enforcement Unit, DHCR’s Tenant Protection Unit, his own Real Estate Finance Unit, and a  City-State multi-agency Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force (in which he participates) are missing something.

ABO, the National Association of Home Builders, and other national apartment owner organizations are urging members to contact Sen. Chuck Schumer and other Senators in support of S3083, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act. Among other changes, it would allow Section 8 Voucher tenants to move into units inspected within the past two years immediately rather than wait for a new inspection. The House passed the bill and it has bipartisan support, but Congress is expected to adjourn soon so immediate action is necessary.

NYCHA has issued RFPs for new housing developments on the sites of upper East Side and Boerum Hill public housing projects. The new construction would be expected to be 50% affordable.

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