RSA launching anti-de Blasio ad campaign

Landlord group readies more than 1,200 TV and radio spots criticizing mayor's housing policies
February 23, 2016 03:43PM

New York City landlords are taking to the airwaves to bash Bill de Blasio, launching a TV and radio advertising campaign that criticizes the mayor’s housing policies.

The Rent Stabilization Association bought 1,000 television ads and 225 radio spots that will run through June broadcasting negative ads against the mayor and his housing plans.

The offensive comes as the de Blasio administration is seeking to push through an ambitious affordable housing agenda. The RSA is still upset about the city Rent Guidelines Board’s historic rent freeze last year, according to the New York Daily News, and worries another freeze could be on the way this summer.

While the landlord interest group ran a previous ad campaign in the lead up to last year’s rent freeze, the RSA plans to continue the negative spots after this year’s vote – all the way up to the next mayoral election in 2017.

“This is a long-term proposition on our end,” RSA president Joseph Strasburg told the Daily News. “It’s going to go beyond the Rent Guidelines Board until this administration understands there has to be a mindset that changes.”

The ads feature actors portraying maintenance workers and small business owners who complain about work drying up because landlords can’t afford property repairs.

“When landlords don’t have enough money for building improvements, it puts people out of work,” an actor says in one ad. “Why can’t Mayor de Blasio see that?”

The ad campaign has already received a rebuke from the de Blasio administration and several City Council members

“It’s cynical politics for the landlord lobby to use paid actors instead of genuine New Yorkers to attack the mayor’s plan,” a de Blasio spokesperson said. [NYDN]Rey Mashayekhi