Friday, March 15, 2013

In Defense of Regulation

Last week, the New York Post published a confounding editorial, arguing that somehow rent regulation is what's holding back both feminism and affordable housing. Tenants & Neighbors replied immediately with the following tweets:

Tenants & Neighbors' Senior Organizer Katie Goldstein countered with this letter to the editor, which was subsequently published in the Post:

As a market-rate female tenant living in Brooklyn, I would like nothing more than for there to be more rent regulated apartments, not less. Rent-regulation is an important resource for the city and laid the foundation for economically and racially diverse city; we need more of this diversity, not less.   In order to ensure that young, creative, and non-profit workers come to NYC, there needs to be protected and affordable apartments. Rent regulation isn't the problem; it is the only system that can save NYC. 
Katie Goldstein

Former Manhattan Assemblyman, Stuyvesant Town/PeterCooper Village Tenants Association president emeritus, and long-time supporter of tenant protections Steven Sanders also contested the Post's assertions:

The Post is dead wrong in its conclusions (“Rent and the Single Girl,” Editorial, March 7).The vast number of elderly residents in rent-controlled or rent-stabilized apartments are not some Fifth Avenue heiresses, but retired men and women who worked all their lives and are now living on a limited and fixed income.
Furthermore, owners who set rents for their non-regulated tenants do so based almost entirely on what they can collect based on what the market will bear for a given apartment, not, as The Post suggests, based on the revenue from their other tenants.
Developers can already build as many non-regulated apartment buildings as they wish, so long as they do not accept any government tax abatements.
Deregulating existing apartment units will not lead to any savings for non-regulated tenants, but it will lead to serious hardship for hard-working middle-income tenants and their retired forebears.
Steven Sanders
President Emeritus, Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association

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