The Real Deal New York

Small landlords also versed in de Blasio’s two cities: OPINION

November 05, 2013 03:42PM

Mayoral Bill de Blasio’s “tale of two cities” may have ruffled feathers in the real estate community, but in the halls of Brooklyn’s Housing Court, the idea is hitting close to home, a columnist for the New York Times observed on the day of the mayoral election.

Last year, New York City landlords launched 217,914 legal actions for rent nonpayment — a number only marginally less than the entire population of Newark, N.J. Meanwhile, real wages dipped 4.5 percent.

In certain areas of the city, notably the South Bronx, East Brooklyn and Southeast Queens, most tenants shell out over 50 percent of their income for rent, according to the Times.

But the situation is only slightly less challenging for small-time landlords, wrote Times columnist Michael Powell, a former tenant organizer in East Flatbush.

“Outside, behind the New Apollo Diner and a bail bondsman’s office, three gleaming condo towers rise,” Powell wrote. “That isn’t this world. This is hanging-by-a-shoestring New York.”

The troubled souls around him, he wrote, will be voting for de Blasio. [NYT]Julie Strickland