Garodnick disses pro-Stuy Town landlord bill

May 05, 2011 11:45AM

New York City Council member Dan Garodnick, who represents Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, said a bill being kicked around the state senate ignores thousands of harmed individuals, lost affordable apartments and the law. In an interview with the Village Voice, Garodnick shreds the bill that would allow landlords who illegally deregulated apartments while taking tax breaks from the city to simply pay back their taxes and avoid further penalty. It would save landlords hundreds of millions of dollars, while tenants whose rents were illegally raised would lose their right, protected by a 2009 State appeals court ruling, to recover money. The court ruling said that landlords must reimburse tenants whose rents were raised to market rate while the landlord received the J-51 tax benefit to make improvements to the buildings. At the center of this case, was Stuy-Town where 4,400 units’ rents were illegally increased to market rate. Though the Real Estate Board of New York supports the new proposal, arguing that it’s impossible to legislate the court ruling as many residents have since moved on and that it would provide much-needed income to the city. But Garodnick said the bill protects wealthy landlords at the expense of average New Yorkers. He said the loss of more rent-regulated apartments, and the landlord’s right to return rents to 2005 levels — the height of the city’s real estate market. [Village Voice]