Regarding Joseph's Strasburg's May 16th op-ed "Radical Rent Reform Is Not The
Answer," as head of an organization representing 25,000 landlords, Mr. Strasburg expresses the views of his employers, but not the reality facing city tenants.
Rent reform laws pending in Albany will end vacancy decontrol and MCI rent hikes that have forced thousands of tenants out of their homes.
Begun in 1971 as part of the state's Urstadt Law, vacancy decontrol has removed over 500,000 affordable units from New York City's housing market over the past decade, notes Comptroller Scott Stringer.
MCI, which stands for Major Capitol Improvements, really means Maximum Cheating and Intimidation. Landlords raise rents after making minor repairs and adjustments.
But I agree that lawmakers should pass the Tenant Rent Increase Exemption bill proposed in the State Senate. That would prevent rent hikes for tenants who earn less than $50,000 a year and spend more than half of their income to pay rent.
It's similar to the city's Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption program, which benefits me.
They should also pass Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi's Home Stability Support plan. It would provide rent supplements to tenants facing eviction or homelessness due to
domestic violence or hazardous living conditions.
Both bills merit solid support from both parties.
Kew Gardens Hills