ST-PCV Tenants Association’s Al Doyle gives testimony at rent regulation extension signing

Apr2 TA Al Doyle

Al Doyle, board member of ST-PCV TA (Photo by Anne Greenberg)

The following is testimony given by Alvin Doyle in favor of enacting Intro 685, renewal of the NYC rent regulation laws for another three years, on Monday, March 30.

Good afternoon. I’m Alvin Doyle, a member of the board of directors of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association and a lifelong rent-stabilized tenant. I’m here to speak in support of Intro 685.

Our united developments contain over 11,000 apartments, and we have been ravaged by rapacious owners and others. We see our once-peaceful, stable, and affordable middle-class community being destroyed.

Vacancy deregulation is the worm within, slowly, painfully, inexorably eating away at our affordable housing stock.
As our neighbors have died or moved out, apartments have been renovated, chopped up to add so-called bedrooms, and stuffed with more adult occupants than they were designed to accommodate or that the infrastructure can support. The rest of the city will soon see this as real estate types seek to add value, as they say, to existing buildings.

By manipulating existing regulations, our owners have jacked rents up so high that they are well above market rate. I’m talking about as much as $7,000 for a one-bedroom apartment in a building that doesn’t even have a doorman. Families trying to put down roots regularly find themselves priced out of their homes and their school district. Young people have to submit to dorm-like living just to get a toehold in this town.

Mayor de Blasio, you have committed to adding 200,000 affordable units, and we applaud that. We have over 11,000 such units, and it’s far easier to preserve than to build. But we need strong laws to do this. We deeply appreciate your making the case in Albany recently. We need your political and moral leadership now to repeal vacancy deregulation, which makes apartments and communities unaffordable and New York City untenable.
We need to keep rent-stabilized apartments stabilized. No taking them out of the program by jacking up the rents and churning the tenants — no more automatic 20 percent increase every time the apartment turns over because with current landlord practices, they turn over frequently.

No more perpetual Major Capital Improvement costs. They should be surcharges, not part of the base rent. Once something is paid for, the cost should go away. It’s outrageous that tenants have to pay in perpetuity for what the landlord can depreciate. Who made that deal?

And we need to stop the landlords’ practice of renting apartments for hundreds of dollars less than the legal rent and then ambushing tenants with renewal increases of double-digit percentages. That underhanded tactic is destabilizing our community.

There should be room in every borough for New Yorkers at every income level. We can’t allow greedy real estate operators to buy off upstate officials to support their plan to turn Manhattan in particular into an enclave for the rich and absent. We want to keep the lights turned on for everyone so that we can continue to attract the young, the energetic, the creative — and house them. And we want those who have lived here all their lives to know they can stay in their homes in the city they have worked hard in and to which they have contributed so much.

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2 thoughts on “ST-PCV Tenants Association’s Al Doyle gives testimony at rent regulation extension signing

  1. We are very fortunate to have such well spoken leaders in our Tenants Association as Alvin Doyle and Susan Steinberg to voice our concerns to our Representatives in The City Council and those in Albany.

    Having had lived in Stuyvesant Town during my entire married life and now as a widow, I am grateful for the Community Spirit and have appreciated the warm neighborliness that PCVST has provided. It is all well and good to strive to provide for new affordable housing as this City was built by and maintained by a strong Middle Class. It would be tragic to lose PCVST, which has served this City so remarkably, while politicians are promising and possibly NOT DELIVERING new affordable housing. A little common sense should prevail please!!

    And why should Albany, who takes so much from NYC have anything to do with our homes! We should have Home Rule!!

    I once invited Bruno to tea…no, he did not come but I wanted to have a little sit down with him!! Look where he is now. Why is he not in jail? Why did he have anything to do with trying to get me out of my home?? And I’m still here…

    I am thankful to the leaders of our Tenant’s Association, Dan Garodnick, Mark Thompson, Brad Holman and his predecessor, Brian Kavenaugh, District Leader Louise Dankberg and others who have fought for the rights of the Middle Class! I know I have left many out but you know who you are. All politics are local and we all need to continue to fight for what is right.

    Finally I am grateful for Town and Village who has covered our community since day one and helps keep us all informed and provides a mouthpiece for our concerns.

    Kay Vota 287 Avenue C Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. The degradation of Stuyvesant Town has been devastating, heartbreaking and totally unconscionable. It’s good to see a member of the TA finally admitting that instead of shilling for “ownership.” We owe the TA and our elected “representatives” no thanks whatsoever. They have done nothing to even try to stem the destruction of this once-beautiful property.

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