Editorial: Landlords scared and should be

The fact that the power has shifted drastically in Albany has been missed by no one, in particular landlords, who for many years could rely on the Republican-controlled State Senate to kill any bill deemed too tenant-friendly. While it’s tempting to dismiss the ongoing preening of Albany Democrats as the usual hot air, it isn’t. Good evidence of this is that the property owners of New York City are fighting tooth and nail to defend the status quo.

To keep major capital improvement (MCI) and individual apartment improvement (IAI) rent increases, which are permanently tacked onto a tenant’s rent, they’ve sought cooperation from contractors to argue that owners will stop improving their buildings, which will hurt middle class people who need the jobs. It’s a pathetic argument, however, because if a landlord allows his or her property to deteriorate, just because they can no longer get reimbursed for the project (and earn a profit on top of that) then he or she is nothing but a slumlord. And not deserving of anyone’s pity. Certainly not any more than the renters who are made to pay in perpetuity to improve properties they don’t own.

The system that allows MCIs and IAIs has been abused for many years. A story in this week’s issue of Town & Village demonstrates just how easy it is for someone in charge of renovations to wildly inflate costs of IAIs for the purpose of deregulating units. All they have to do is be willing to fill out credible looking paperwork, send it to a housing agency too under-resourced to verify the information and employ people who don’t mind getting paid more than a renovation should actually cost. This must end.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Man put in headlock for his headphones

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a mugger who tried to rob another man for his headphones while riding the M102.

Police said the bus was heading south and as the victim, a 22-year-old man, was about to get off at Third Avenue and 14th Street, an unknown man snuck up behind him and tried to pull off his headphones.

The victim was able to grab them back, but the mugger didn’t give up, instead putting the victim in a headlock. The victim was able to push the other man off him, at which point, the mugger told him, “Don’t stare at me,” before fleeing the bus.

The incident occurred on Saturday, April 20 at about 10 p.m., but the NYPD released the information on Monday.

Continue reading

Free concerts will return to Stuy Cove after all

June6 Sean Mahony band

Event organizer Jo-Ann Polise cited endless paperwork as enemy number one to the concert series. (Pictured) A concert from a previous year at Stuyvesant Cove Park with Sean Mahony and the Swing Orchestra (Photo by Jo-Ann Polise)

By Sabina Mollot

Last month, Jo-Ann Polise, the main organizer of the annual summer concert series put on by the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association, announced via this newspaper that after several years the music had come to an end. The reason, she explained at the time, was that despite the grants awarded to the group by Council Member Keith Powers, the city’s process for actually getting the funds had become so onerous, it was too much for an all-volunteer outfit to bear.

However, Polise has since changed her tune, saying the concerts will return — at least this year. After that it may not be possible to hold waterfront concerts for the next couple of years due to the planned East Side Coastal Resiliency Project.

The reason for the park association’s change of heart was twofold. First, since the SCPA had made the announcement, Polise found that she couldn’t go anywhere — even grocery shopping — without someone telling her how much the free, riverside gigs would be missed.

“We got a lot of responses; people were saying, ‘we’re so sorry,’” Polise said. “There was a lot of un happiness in the community.”

Continue reading