DHCR must determine "depreciability" for façade repair MCI

If rent stabilized tenants in your building are facing a Major Capital Improvement (MCI) rent increase because of façade repair, this State Supreme Court decision might help you.  

The state law requires that to qualify as an MCI, work must "depreciable" under the federal Internal Revenue Code. The court ruled that façade repair is no exception - despite what the regulations say.  So the state's Division of Housing and Community Renewal must first determine whether the work done would be depreciable under the IRC.  Regular repair work is NOT depreciable.  To be depreciable, the work must

  • be performed for the first time
  • create something entirely new, and
  • be of significant scale (for example affecting at least 80% of the building). 

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenant Association and its lawyers, Collins Dobkin & Miller, won this case - although it might be appealed. This is from the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenant Association newsletter:

Tenants get money back— court agrees with TA challenges to 19 façade MCIs 

The court issued a very favorable Order and Decision on the TA’s objections to DHCR’s granting of 19 individual Major Capital Improvement rent increases related to Local Law 11 façade work. As you know, we challenged all approved MCIs in a filing called an Article 78, which comes before the court.

We prevailed on the two key issues: failure to file in time and failure to consider depreciability as an IRS standard for work to qualify as an MCI.

Right2Remain - sign the petition

 Landlords shouldn’t be allowed to raise your rent just because they want more profit. The #Right2Remain would help tenants to fight back against landlord greed. Sign the petition to stop the rent hikes! https://right2remain.com/

Landlords create artificial shortage, then pressure state to rollback protections

 TONIGHT AT 6:30 PM on Zoom 

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The management of 50 West 97th Street refuses to offer for rent 9 vacant rent stabilized apartments.  The management is just warehousing them. And that's just one building.

So landlords are creating a fake shortage of apartments, and then offering to relieve it if the state will let them double the rents every 5 years by permitting vacancy bonuses again. (In the past, landlords got a 20% increase every time a rent stabilized apartment became vacant. If tenants were harassed out by certain landlords, that could mean a new tenant every year - and that would result in a 100% rent increase without the landlord even having to slap on a coat of paint.)

Tonight the Coalition to End Apartment Warehousing is hosting a Zoom Town Hall about this issue.  Join us!

6:30 PM.  
By phone: 646 558 8656 (meeting ID: 83569891685#)

State budget still under negotiation...

The April 1st budget deadline is gone, but some housing remains in the negotiations and tenants state their demands.

Housing Activists Raise a Ruckus in Albany as State Budget Talks Race to a Finish

Housing activists rally inside the state capitol. Photo: Lachlan Hyatt.

Three busloads of activists and organizers from the Housing Justice for All coalition traveled to the state capitol to demand housing policies that benefit the many not the few.


Lachlan Hyatt Apr 1

Three busloads of activists and organizers traveled to Albany on Tuesday for a day of action advocating for Governor Hochul’s executive budget to include more funding for affordable housing initiatives across the state.

“Homes not jails!” chanted the dozens of activists demonstrating at the capital. “Oh the rent/ Oh the rent/ Oh the rent is too damn high!” They sang.

The activists were part of the statewide Housing Justice for All coalition and listed three concrete demands for the governor and the state legislature to enact: Pass stronger eviction protections, eliminate tax incentives for luxury real estate developers and expand rental assistance for people at risk of homelessness. 



Affordable housing plays a big role in Hochul’s budget, along with the Legislature’s proposals. But one notable difference includes the governor’s proposed replacement to the current 421-a tax incentive for developers to build affordable housing. It’s set to expire this year, and Hochul proposed the 485-w program, which made some tweaks to the current tax break. However, lawmakers don’t want to debate the issue as part of the budget. They also have disagreement over converting commercial buildings to housing. Hochul has her own proposal, while lawmakers prefer to focus on expanding and funding the existing House Our Neighbors with Dignity Act passed last year.