Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Quinn Panders To NYC Renters

Speaker Christine Quinn is as we all know running for Mayor and if hollow words were a pre-requisite then she's all ready to move uptown to Gracie Mansion. Quinn had a few words for the Rent Guidelines Board this week and she certainly sounded tough. She's in favor of a state bill that would stop increases for a year, deny landlords with city code violations from rent hikes and connect renters' financials with rent hikes. It sounds good at first, but it doesn't come close to the heart of the problem.

From The NY Sun:

The director of government affairs for the Rent Stabilization Association, Frank Ricci, said the increases announced last month are modest and do not compare to the rising costs of utilities and increases in property taxes incurred by landlords.

"It is the property taxes that have been imposed by the City Council and the mayor that are driving the rents up," Mr. Ricci said. "If she wanted to help renters, she would make sure that there would be a reduction in the tax rate."

Between 2005 and 2007, rents on unregulated apartments in Manhattan increased 16%, a Citi Habitats report found.

The Rent Guidelines Board is composed of nine members appointed by the mayor, with two members representing tenants, two representing landlords, and five representing the general public.

The former "Idiot of the Week" isn't a stranger to screwing over renters for other things. That includes rolling over for Mayor Mike and his strong advocacy for pushing long-time New Yorkers with gentrifying zoning laws for the past few years. If Quinn really wanted to help renters, she'd go at this by looking at the big picture and not focusing on gimmicks.