Thursday, May 7, 2015

NYC Mayor: Let's Bomb New York City!

Old rent control laws in the city stifled apartment construction in the city for decades and were a major contributor to creating a "bombed out" look to parts of the Bronx.

In 1971, Murray Rothbard wrote:
Rent control has been imposed in New York since World War II, and a few years ago it was even imposed anew on postwar buildings. Seemingly, it was a system destined to last forever. All these years, the aggrieved landlords of New York had protested, but in vain. The new recent ingredient was clearly the patent failure and collapse of housing in New York City in the last few years. For few new apartment houses have been built in recent years, due to rent controls and zoning restrictions; existing housing has deteriorated, and abandonments of houses by landlords unable to pay taxes [becasue of the rent controls] have increased, adding to the plight of the homeless. Furthermore, the Liberal claim that rent controls are merely a temporary device until the apartment shortage disappeared was given the lie by the fact that the shortage of apartments in New York has gotten visibly worse rather than better. In short, as a result of rent controls and high property taxes, the housing situation in New York has reached a crisis stage.
Since that period, rent controls have been eased in many ways, but now, the socialist mayor of NYC, Bill deBlasio, wants to impose new aggressive rent control regulations.

During an interview with DemocracyNow, the pro-rent control Juan González of The New York Daily News reported on the mayor's plan:
About a million people in New York—a million apartments in New York City are rent-stabilized, rent regulated by the state, but they’re facing the possibility of the end of rent regulations on June 15th, and the state Legislature must come up with a new plan. The mayor has proposed the most sweeping new expansions of protections in—to the rent laws of New York state in decades, but the Legislature must approve this by June 15th. Luckily, in the last few weeks, the leader of the Senate and the leader of the State Assembly have both been indicted by federal authorities for extortion, getting landlords to pay them money in exchange for their passing pro-landlord legislation. So hopefully the sands are shifting in Albany with these new arrests, and hopefully now the mayor will be able to get his plan through.
In an NYDN column, Gonz├ílez writes:
 Among the key changes he wants:

* An end to a law that allows landlords to charge a tenant market rates once a rent-regulated unit passes a monthly threshold — currently set at $2,500. De Blasio is urging no threshold, in an effort to assure the city’s stock of affordable apartments remains permanently regulated.

* No more vacancy bonus. That’s a separate rule that allows landlords to automatically hike a unit’s rent by 20% each time a tenant moves out.

* Tough new restrictions on rent surcharges by landlords. Under current law, an owner can tack on monthly charges to recoup from tenants costs of major improvements to a building or individual apartment. But those surcharges become a permanent part of the base rent. De Blasio wants them temporary — spread out over 10 years — with rents resetting to original levels after that.
Bomb, bomb, bomb!


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