Friday, February 18, 2011

MCI & U or P:

Rent Stabilized Tenants:

(1) MCI

Because Stellar did not have time to add the MCI increases to your March bill,  the first increase you will see will be on your APRIL 2011 bill.

That bill will be 6% higher than what your lease says is your rent for that month.

To calculate that amount, multiply your BASE RENT (not the electricity part) by 1.06.

At the   
General Tenants Meeting 
on Wednesday, March 16, 2011
we will provide a step-by-step explanation of what that 6% includes. 

Below is a chart of the amounts in the DHCR orders for each apartment line. The number of rooms listed for each apartment is exactly the same as the number of rooms Stellar listed when it applied for submetering.  Stellar must be consistent - so even if your rent registration form lists a different number of rooms, the number below is what DHCR is using.  Check page 2 of the DHCR order for your apartment to confirm.
  • The permanent increase is PERMANENT and will not be rolled back.
  • The retroactive payment will only be included until that amount is paid in full.

Under no circumstances can Stellar charge you more than 6% increase over your lease amount for the MCI in one year (beginning February 1, 2011).

RETROACTIVE PAYMENT for 10 months  (June 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011)
If your lease was renewed between
June 1, 2010 and April 1, 2011, contact Fran Schiff at Stellar before March 18, 2011 for the corrected figure. Otherwise this figure does not change.

A line = 4 rooms $ 30.68 $ 306.80
B line = 3 rooms $ 23.01 $ 230.10
C line = 5 rooms $ 38.35 $ 383.50
D line = 3 rooms $ 23.01 $ 230.10
E line = 4 rooms $ 30.68 $ 306.80
F line = 4 rooms $ 30.68 $ 306.80
G line - 4 rooms $ 30.68 $ 306.80
H line = 4 rooms $ 30.68 $ 306.80
J line = 4 rooms $ 30.68 $ 306.80
K line = 3 rooms $ 23.01 $ 230.10
L line = 3 rooms $ 23.01 $ 230.10
M line = 3 rooms $ 23.01 $ 230.10
N line = 4 rooms $ 30.68 $ 306.80
P line = 4 rooms $ 30.68 $ 306.80
R line = 4 rooms $ 30.68 $ 306.80
S line = 3 rooms $ 23.01 $ 230.10
T line = 5 rooms $ 38.35 $ 383.50
U line = 3 rooms $ 23.01 $ 230.10
V line = 4 rooms $ 30.68 $ 306.80

If you want to pay off the retroactive amount at one time, call or e-mail Francine Schiff at Stellar, 212-406-0030, to verify the retroactive amount. You can ask her to include the full amount in the April bill - or leave things as they are (maximum 6% per year increase).

(2) U or P case

On February 17, 2011,  the state's housing agency  formally denied Stellar's application for "unique or peculiar circumstances" increases.  That is an ADMINISTRATIVE (as opposed to COURT) decision.  Stellar has 35 days to file an appeal within DHCR if it chooses.

We now have on our side:
  • DHCR's administrative decision (the February 17, 2011 notice sent to your mailbox)
  • DHCR's court victory in the State Supreme Court - the NYS lowest general court
  • DHCR court victory in the  Appellate Division - the NYS mid-level court.
The only owner who appealed to the Appellate Division, Steve Witkoff of Columbus 95 (95 W. 95th Street), had until 5 PM on Friday, February 18, 2011 to file an appeal to the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals.   (We're waiting to hear whether he did or didn't.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pre-Valentine's Day Fundraiser a SUCCESS!

The pre-Valentine's Day fundraiser was a great success!  
  • We raised over $ 3,700 on Sunday - and
  • Sent about 100 cards each to Speaker Sheldon Silver thanking him for supporting renewing & strengthening rent regulation and Gov. Cuomo - urging him to support it. 

Thanks go to Rosa Delgado and Debbie Gonzalez for organizing the evening, and to all those who staffed the table in the lobby on Sunday:

Wassie Ayalew, Laurie Barton, Rosa Delgado, Andrew Dubin, Debbie Gonzalez, Steve Koulish, Helen Merber, Greg Murray, Lydia Pitsirilos, and Maxine Soares.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sat. Feb. 19 - Bus to Albany for Tenant Rally!

Get on the Bus to Albany! 

SATURDAY, FEB. 19, 2011

for a


The rally will be held as part of the annual Black, Latino & Asian Caucus in Albany
  • at 3 PM
  • Meeting Room 6, off the Concourse of the Legislative Office Building in Albany.
The Rent Stabilization Law for our building EXPIRES on June 15, 2011.  We need it renewed and strengthened before that date.
Real Rent Reform Campaign buses will be leaving from the Upper West Side (95th & Broadway - from the McDonald's).  Contact Larry Wood if you'd like to get on the bus.

So far, the State Assembly has an "Omnibus Rent bill" that has a chance of passage in that house (go to for more information on it) - but we need to talk to BOTH Senators and Assembly Members about it.

Contact Mary Tek for more information at

Monday, February 7, 2011

Review of the Manhattan Town Hall Meeting on Rent Regulation

Last week's Manhattan Town Meeting hosted by the Real Rent Reform Campaign had a terrific turnout: over 300 people all told, with at least 8 from our building.

The Assembly Members spoke about what they would do to ensure renewal and strengthening of the rent laws. (These laws EXPIRE on June 15, 2011!!!!)  The Assembly Members who spoke included:

Danny O'Donnell  - our Assembly Member,  told Governor Cuomo that he would not even READ the property tax cap bill until rent regulation renewal and strengthening was passed, and has shared that view with Speaker Sheldon Silver.  Go, Danny!

Linda Rosenthal of the Upper West Side is the prime sponsor of the vacancy decontrol and Mitchell-Lama bills (in slightly altered form they're part of the Omnibus Rent Bill)  She heads the Mitchell-Lama Subcommittee of the Assembly's Housing Committee.  She noted that we NEED these bills to save our homes - and mentioned that she sleeps in her red R3 t-shirt  (and thus verified a statement her colleague made at the Jan. 20th hearing:  that Linda Rosenthal lives, breathes and sleeps real rent reform!). What would we do without her!

Guillermo Linares of Washington Heights, the newest member of the Assembly, movingly spoke about the people coming to his district office for help - two-thirds of whom are there because of housing problems. (View a short clip: Assembly member Linares (en espaƱol)

Deborah Glick of the West Village noted that owners and their lawyers routinely violate the law by challenging "primary residency" (whether the tenant actually is living in that apartment) in the middle of lease terms. (This is against the law, which limits such challenges to when leases are supposed to be renewed.)  She wants to challenge the lawyers through the NYS Attorney General's office and his hoping Eric Schneiderman will be receptive.    (That's good, but
we need to know how she will ensure the renewal and strengthening of the rent laws this year!! If they expire, lease challenge provisions will be irrelevant.)

Brian Kavanagh of the Lower East Side (who represents Stuyvesant Town among other developments)  exhorted tenants to stay on top of what their legislators are ACTUALLY doing -  not just what they're saying.  See a video clip of him speaking on 421-a - a tax-break provision that developers love and that expires this year too - making it an obvious choice for leverage.  (Here's another video clip of Brian Kavanagh speaking on Mayor Bloomberg and the rent laws.)

Keith Wright likened the Assembly Members there to a basketball team for rent regulation renewal, with Linda Rosenthal as the forward and Richard Gottlieb as the captain - and urged everyone to come up to Albany in those easily identifiable red "R3" (Real Rent Reform)
shirts.  If you have one and go to Albany, wear it.  In the meantime, the R3 campaign is figuring out how to come up with more!  (And if you get on the bus to Albany and don't already have a shirt, they'll give you one!)

Richard Gottfried, the Assembly Member present who has been in Albany the longest fighting for tenants (among other excellent causes), told of his ambitions for tenants (rent regulation protections for all!) that go even beyond the Omnibus bill. Assembly member Gottfried says he withhold support of 421a.  (See a video clip.)

The video clips were filmed by Bennett Baumer of the R3 campaign.

If you have friends in Brooklyn, tell them about the Brooklyn Town Hall Meeting on Rent Regulation on February 17th at 6 PM at the  Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church,
85 S. Oxford Street at Lafayette Avenue.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

This Thursday - Town Hall Mtg at Goddard-Riverside on Renewing Rent Laws

The Real Rent Reform Campaign is hosting a Town Hall Meeting in our Neighborhood on

Thursday, Feb. 3rd  
at 7 PM 
at the Goddard-Riverside Community Center, 593 Columbus Ave. at 88th St.

Talk directly to the State Assembly Members from Manhattan

In June 2011, all NYS rent protections will expire. 

The rent laws must be RENEWED and STRENGTHENED: 
  • Full Repeal of Vacancy Decontrol; 
  • Extend Rent Protections to all Mitchell-Lama & Section 8 buildings that leave government programs.
Those Assembly Members with a * listed below have sponsored a bill to renew rent regulation, protect tenants in former Mitchell-Lamas, and repeal vacancy decontrol.  But passing it is only the first step.  We and they together must work to ensure this is a "must" bill for the NYS Senate  and Governor as well. 

Join tenant and housing advocates from across Manhattan for this critical borough-wide meeting. Come for the latest updates from Albany and to strategize with our allies on how to protect our homes!

New York State Assembly Members Representing Manhattan (all invited).  Here are the photos, so you'll know whom to  THANK (with apologies for odd formatting on this website! )   - and urge them to help make this bill a MUST for the State Senate too.

For more information: Real Rent Reform

212-608-4320 x316, 212-979-6238 x200

Let's walk over there together (slowly and carefully!).