AC Rates Up With Fall Arriving

Air conditioner charges in rent stabilized and rent controlled apartments with electricity included in the rent will increase to $26.42 per month effective Monday, October 1st, per the Division of Housing and Community’s Renewal’s latest Operational Bulletin 84-4 update, posted online yesterday.

A State Supreme Court judge this week denied New York City’s motion to dismiss the complaint by Tax Equity Now, a coalition of community and real estate groups, that City property taxes are assessed unfairly.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer counted wrong. First he said the City ‘lost’ one million apartments renting for less than $900 since 2005; then he said it was 425,000. In a report Tuesday (corrected Wednesday) he blamed deregulation of stabilized units for rising rents, ignoring the Rent Guidelines Board’s latest findings that operating expenses for the average apartment, without profit or debt service, rose from $679 to $985 a month since 2005, including property taxes that have more than doubled.

The City Council held hearings Thursday on 23 lead safety bills opposed by CHIP. Supporters complained in a new report this week that HPD enforcement is lax because only  two violations have been issued since 2005 for failure to do interim controls on apartment turnover, but downplayed the 307,000 peeling paint violations in the same time. Meanwhile, the City’s Independent Budget Office revealed that lead in water is rare, and confined mostly to smaller, older buildings with under 2 inch service lines in a handful of neighborhoods.

The New York Times, Monday, ran a profile of Aaron Carr of the Housing Rights Initiative in advance of a press conference with Councilman Ritchie Torres accusing landlords of failing to check of the box that they have rent stabilized tenants on building permit applications. Torres wants owners prosecuted.  A Department of Buildings spokesman explained that, at most, the filing errors found involve just 3 percent of construction permits. “More importantly, checking the wrong box on a permit application does not mean that any improper work happened.”

In a decision with significance for Long Island development generally, the Suffolk County Legislature’s Public Works Committee voted down a plan for 9000 apartments and offices in Brentwood because of concerns over sewer capacity and the water aquifer.

Mayor de Blasio appointed Sarah Carroll as the new Chair of the Landmarks Commission. She was the executive director since 2014 and has been on the Landmarks staff for 24 years.

The link for ABO member savings from the National Association of Home Builders in September’s New York Housing Journal was broken. The correct link is www.nahb.org/savings.

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