Ahead of rent reforms, landlord group meets with housing advocates behind closed doors

Partnership of New York City met with advocates to negotiate a compromise on rent laws
May 30, 2019 09:50AM

Partnership for New York City CEO Kathryn Wylde (Credit: Getty Images)

Partnership for New York City CEO Kathryn Wylde (Credit: Getty Images)

As all eyes turn to rent reform battles in Albany, a group of New York City landlords met with affordable housing advocates behind closed doors to work out some compromises.

In a March meeting, executives from Blackstone Group, A&E Real Estate Holdings and Taconic Investment Partners met with Community Service Society, Enterprise Community Partners, and New York State Association for Affordable Housing to reach an agreement on rent law reforms, Gothamist report. It wasn’t clear which specific proposals were discussed in the meeting, but state legislators are looking to add more tenant protections, make changes to the major capital improvements and individual apartment upgrades programs, and end vacancy decontrol.

The meeting was arranged by Partnership of New York City, a business advocacy group chaired by Kathryn Wylde. “It was an exchange of views among those who will be affected,” Wylde told Gothamist.

Blackstone is the city’s biggest multifamily landlord, after buying Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper in 2015, where it agreed to keep 5,000 units affordable for 20 years. A&E is the fourth largest landlord, holding a sizable chunk of the city’s stabilized housing stock.

The closed doors meeting was surely welcome for real estate players who are keen to escape the limelight in Albany ahead of the expiration of the rent laws. The meeting also highlights disagreement in the real estate industry about how to best advocate for their interests with politicians, with some developers opting to take their own lobbyists to Albany to shape policy. [Gothamist] — Georgia Kromrei

Correction: This article previously misstated that Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman co-chaired Partnership of New York City.