Saturday, April 13, 2019

Time to Act!

The rent laws will be renewed this June in Albany.  
They don't just happen in a void.  The landlord lobby 
is out in force, and tenants have to be louder.  So urge 
our elected officials to support Housing Justice for All.  

May 2, 2019: Testify in person or 
by email to the NYS Assembly's 
Standing Committee on Housing.  

 **Click here to view public hearing notice** with 

Get on the bus for Albany on May 14th: 

Write letters / email: 

PLEASE WRITE to  Gov. Cuomo
Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie, and to our 
State Senator Brian Benjamin and Assembly Member 
Daniel O'Donnell. 

Gov Cuomo has announced he will not support roll backs 
of MCI increases, and Assembly Speaker Heastie wants 
to drop protection for market tenants from the list
They need to hear from us.

Given a Democratic State Senate and a Democratic 
Assembly (and Governor), we actually have a chance 
of getting these passed:

· Protect market-rate (currently un-regulated) · 
tenants all over NY State - and not just in NYC, Westchester, 
Rockland, and Nassau Counties.  This includes a guaranteed 
renewal lease unless the tenant seriously violates the lease.

· Eliminate ways landlords raise the rent beyond · 
what many tenants can pay, including:
o Ending the MCI surcharge. (Right now it's a permanent 
increase in the rent.)
o Ending Individual Apartment Improvement (IAI) 
surcharges that raise rents in both vacant and 
occupied apartments.
o Ending vacancy increases that landlords get 
just because an apartment becomes vacant.
· End vacancy decontrol (vacancy deregulation)
Tell our legislators and the Governor to pass them!

Brian Benjamin had only signed onto some of them. Gov Cuomo and Carl Heastie have reportedly already announced that they will not support roll backs of MCI increases, and Assembly Speaker Heastie wants to drop protection for market tenants from the list. They need to hear from us.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

May 18th: Celebrate our building's 50th Anniversary at the Pot Luck Party!

Let's celebrate our old and new neighbors with our building in its 50th year 
at the

Central Park Gardens Tenants' Associations' 

50th Anniversary
Pot Luck Party

Saturday, May 18, 2019

with Congressman Jerry Nadler.

Invite your family and friends who used to live here.  
Bring your new neighbors!  
We'll have a kids' area too.

Bring a dish for 8-10 people or help out


Just come and share in the fun and food for
$10/person or $15/household.
(non-tenant guests are $10/each).

6-8:30 PM

RSVP with how you will contribute to
CPGTenAssoc  [at]  gmail .   com.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Summary of the March 27, 2019 Tenants Meeting with CM Mark Levine

Progressive Caucus
RIGHT TO COUNSEL - This is the right for tenants who can't afford lawyers to have them provided for free in Housing Court.  NYC is the first place in the U.S. that this exists, and because of it, evictions are down 37%.  (In part, landlords are bringing fewer cases knowing that the tenants will be represented by lawyers from nonprofit organizations.)  The program is being rolled out slowly over 5 years and this is only year 1 - so this drop is significant!  With the lobbying and backing of CASA and other tenant organizations, Mark led  the fight for this bill to success in the NYC Council.  

The drop in evictions has also led to a drop in the number of families showing up at city homeless shelters.  The shelter system houses over 60,000 people a night, primarily families with children - more than at any time since the Great Depression. Some 25,000 children per night stay in these shelters.  Most of the homeless are not mentally ill or addicted.  The bulk of them simply cannot pay their rent, even though they are employed. 

SAVING LOCAL STORES -  There is almost no protection for these stores and city-wide about 20% of storefronts are vacant.  The City Council and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer are proposing a few remedies to stop the "chainification" of NYC:
  • right to council for small businesses
  • a tax on the owners of buildings whose storefronts are vacant
  • a Small Business Job Survival Act would require binding arbitration if a building owner and store owner cannot come to an agreement on renewing their lease
  • rezoning.  Gale Brewer arranged the rezoning of 96th - 110th Streets to limit the amount of storefront to 45 feet.  The result is that chain stores are not interested, but smaller businesses are. 
Citing the example of Bleecker Street, Mark noted that where a building or block owner lowers the rent, innovative entrepreneurs will jump in. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

THIS WED., March 27: Council Member Mark Levine at our General Tenants Meeting

What's the NYC Council working on to help save our stores? our homes? 

This Wednesday, March 27, 2019

hear and talk with 

Council Member Mark Levine - who spearheaded the tenants' Right to Counsel law

at our

General Tenants Meeting

8 PM in the Community Room

Bring a friend and a neighbor.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Market-Rate Tenants have new chance to slash your rents

New court decisions mean you might be able to slash your rent and get back into rent stabilization

Some things have changed that could make it easier for you to get your apartment back into rent stabilization - even if it's been market-rate for over 4 years.  

What it means for you:

  • Rent that may be 1/3 or less of what you're paying now.
  • You can keep rents low for the rest of your life - or as long as you live here.
  • You'd have the right to choose a 2-year renewal lease.
  • Family members living with you could take over the rent stabilized lease if you leave. 
  • You could challenge a loss of services without fearing retribution. 
What are the changes? 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Summary of Tenant Meeting with Ellen Davidson - Jan. 24, 2019

We began with a moment of silence for Ada Marie Wattley and Jacob Brockington.
Photo by Jodi Brockington (c) 2019

Thanks to members of the board and executive committee who have served us long and well but decided not to run this year :  Na'ava Ades, who was  on our legal committee, executive committee, and board for many years; Maria Acevedo, who was our treasurer, a floor captain, and then a board member for decades; Debbie Gonzalez, who is continuing as a fund-raiser and pot luck planner; and Wassie Ayalew, who was a member of our board. 

Congratulations to our new board and executive committee members!  Click here to see the names. 

There is more on building issues below. 

What we can expect from Albany

Photo by Jodi Brockington, (c) 2019
Ellen Davidson spoke. As a Legal Aid Staff Attorney and as a board member of Tenants and Neighbors, she has recently been in several meetings with leading State Senators and Assembly Members concerning tenant bills.  These include applying rent laws statewide and to all tenants, and closing loopholes that give landlords an incentive and a means to oust rent regulated tenants.  Tenants and tenants organizations both upstate and downstate are united in the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance, with a single Housing Justice for All platform.

Because the Governor has presented his budget and has until March 31st to get it passed,  tenant advocates want to wait until early April to get these bills moving. (The bills have no financial consequences for the state and don't belong in the budget.) The rent laws expire on June 14, 2019, and will be renewed.  Ellen is cautiously optimistic about the bills described below since the Democrats have a big majority (39 to 24) in the Senate and in the Assembly. (No party has had such a big majority in the Senate since 1948.)  

Ellen urged tenants to go up to Albany on one of the Tuesday buses.  With every possible lobbying group on other issues going up every week, we have to make our voices heard!  Contact Andrea Shapiro at to sign up.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

TONIGHT: Vote, and hear about what we can expect from Albany

  • How will Albany strengthen tenant protections when the rent laws expire this year?
  • Will market tenants get some protection? 
  • Will we be stuck with huge Major Capital Improvement increases?

8 PM  - Vote for our tenant association's board and officers - as long as you've paid your $10 dues this year (you can pay at the meeting), and then 

8:15 PM  - Hear Legal Aid Staff Attorney Ellen Davidson of the Tenants and Neighbors' Board on what we can expect from Albany.  State Senator Brian Benjamin will also be there to comment and get your suggestions.  Sign onto our petition in support of Housing Justice for All.