The Real Deal New York

City-managed rent regulation: disastrous for housing stock?

Former state housing commissioner warns against rent-hike rollbacks, freezes
May 09, 2014 05:45PM

According to Charles Urstadt, for whom a 1971 law granting Albany authority over New York City rent regulation is named, rolling back the legislation would make the Big Apple “look like Havana.”

Urstadt told Crain’s that such a measure, which Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed, would prove disastrous for the city’s housing stock. The former state housing official argued that handing over rent control to a progressive, tenant-friendly council would result in rent hike rollbacks or freezes while costs continue to rise for building owners.

“The costs of operating the apartments will continue to rise, since water prices are going up astronomically, along with increases in real estate taxes, labor costs and insurance costs,” Urstadt told Crain’s. Urstadt, who served as the state’s housing commissioner under the Nelson Rockefeller administration, is now chairman at a Connecticut real estate firm.

“Look at the city’s record as a landlord with the (New York City Housing Authority),” he added. “It’s not very good.” [Crain’s]Julie Strickland