Rent regs expire with no hint of progress in Albany

ST-PCV Tenants Association Chair Susan Steinberg and other tenants at a vigil on Sunday outside the midtown Manhattan office of Governor Cuomo. (Photo by Anne Greenberg)

ST-PCV Tenants Association Chair Susan Steinberg and other tenants at a vigil on Sunday outside the midtown Manhattan office of Governor Cuomo. (Photo by Anne Greenberg)

By Sabina Mollot

It wasn’t quite the climactic end to another four years tenants were hoping for when at midnight on June 15, the laws regulating rents in New York expired without being renewed or strengthened.

The following morning, the talks continued in Albany, though there was no sign that that they’d be concluded any time soon.

Part of the reason was that Governor Andrew Cuomo has been hoping to include the passage of an education tax credit in the negotiations, while Senate Republicans also last week passed a set of rent regulation legislation that’s wildly different from the package the Assembly passed in May. The much hyped 421-a tax abatement for developers who include some affordable housing in their projects has also been a factor, but hasn’t been given as much attention as it was expected to get, according to State Senator Brad Hoylman.

Hoylman described the tax program, which also expired on Monday, as being “radioactive” to many of his colleagues because of its being “at the heart of the investigations” into corruption in Albany by U.S. attorney Preet Bharara.

“It’s understandable that it wouldn’t be a front burner issue,” said Hoylman, adding he wouldn’t be mourning the program’s loss if it isn’t ultimately renewed and that he thinks it ought to be negotiated separately.

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Mr. T dons butterfly wings on Fifth Ave.

Mr. T delights the crowd during an impromptu promotional event for Fuze drinks. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Mr. T delights the crowd during an impromptu promotional event for Fuze drinks. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. This is in fact a photo of Mr. T, wearing a pair of butterfly wings, while posing for pictures on Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street on Monday. The bearded, gold-chained actor best known for his role on “The A-Team” was there to promote Fuze iced tea.

When asked by a fan in the crowd if he was making any movies, Mr. T said, “Who needs movies when you’re promoting Fuze? This’ll make me just as much money as a movie.”

Then, after taking a swig of his drink, he insisted, “I can feel my muscles getting bigger already.”

As for the wings, he explained they were metaphorical for his life. Caterpillars, he explained, get told, “They’ll never amount to be nothing,” but then suddenly they take off.

Mr. T also said he’ll be participating in a show on the DIY network called “I Pity the Tool,” in which he’ll be helping people fix up their homes.

Letter from CR on rent laws

The following letter has been distributed by CompassRock to Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village residents concerning the expiration of the rent laws:

Dear Residents,

As you may know, the Rent Stabilization Law (“RSL”) is set to expire at midnight tonight, June 15, 2015 and as of this morning no deal has been reached in Albany to extend the RSL. As a reminder, all units in Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town are subject to Rent Stabilization.

We appreciate that the potential expiration of the RSL may be stressful for some residents and can raise questions about what will happen without the protections of the Law. We want to assure our residents that you have nothing to worry about at PCVST. All leases that are currently in place will remain in full force and effect even if the Law expires tonight. Furthermore, PCVST will continue to adhere to the current rules in place (even if the Law expires) until Albany acts.

We, like you, are watching developments in Albany closely and waiting for a resolution. Unfortunately, we don’t have any additional information to share about what the final resolution may look like or when it will occur. We will act in accordance with the new law as soon as it is passed.

Thank you,
PCVST Management