The Real Deal New York

Tenants, pols battle rent hike at Knickerbocker Village

Opponents claim landlord of Lower East Side complex lost revenue by warehousing units

September 09, 2014 12:00PM

From left: Knickerbocker Village, Gale Brewer and Margaret Chin

From left: Knickerbocker Village, Gale Brewer and Margaret Chin

Tenants and elected officials are asking the state to reduce a rent hike at Knickerbocker Village, a 1,600-unit affordable housing complex on the Lower East Side.

The tenants association at the complex is seeking to cap the rent increase at 9 percent, rather than the 13 percent that management is seeking, DNAinfo reported. The larger hike would generate $3 million in revenue over two years, according to the website.

An accountant commissioned by the tenant association found that management had lost roughly $400,000 in rent by leaving apartments vacant for as long as four years, DNAinfo reported.

In a letter to the state’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal, elected officials said it was unfair for management to seek a 13-percent rent increase after warehousing units. The politicians who signed the letter include U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council member Margaret Chin, state Senator Daniel Squadron and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. [DNAinfo]Tom DiChristopher

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