Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Gov. Spitzer closes "unique or peculiar" loophole!

Closure of the "unique or peculiar" loophole -- which allowed landlords of pre-1974 Mitchell Lamas to unfairly deregulate their units upon buy out -- has been a long-time goal of affordable housing activists! Congrats to all NY Is Our Home campaign leaders, Mitchell Lama tenants and housing organizers who helped make this happen!

Governor Spitzer puts kibosh on rent hike loophole
Wednesday, July 18th 2007, 4:00 AM

Gov. Spitzer has closed a loophole that could have let landlords in the Mitchell-Lama housing program jack up rents by thousands of dollars.

"I was so happy I cried," said Sue Susman, president of the tenants association in an upper West Side building where she said a one-bedroom apartment could have jumped from $450 a month to $2,100.

Apartments in former Mitchell-Lama buildings are subject to New York's rent stabilization rules.

Owners of 24 buildings recently told the state Division of Housing they faced "unique and peculiar" circumstances and were entitled to raise rents on almost 5,000 apartments to market rates. Some rents would have tripled.

"Some landlords have attempted to get around the rent stabilization laws by manipulating the so-called unique and peculiar loophole," said Dina Levy of the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board. "Spitzer has done the right thing by closing the loophole and protecting the rights of thousands of tenants."

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