Have you ever heard anyone say (with apologies to Blanche Dubois): ” I have
always depended upon the kindness of landlords.”? I am putting this whole situation on Snidley Watch. The situation being the Feds, Obama and Fema want NYC landlords to house Sandy homeless and will pay $1,800 a month
for 18 months. Enter rent stabilization and other legal issues (apts under $2,500 are stabilized and tenants can stay for life) ; historically low citywide vacancy rates; the highest rents in the country; landlord lobbyists seeking
eviction a$$i$tance / indemnification for when those 18 months are up, and you have an “only in New York” housing emergency
and potentially sad circus.
As one reader commented on NY Mag’s blog: “They’re barking up the wrong tree. Has FEMA ever tried to rent an apartment in Manhattan?”
Via Joe Coscarelli, New York Magazine:
“It may be beautiful in New York City today, but it won’t be for long, and with the winter most likely comes a “second surge” of Hurricane Sandy homeless. To prepare for those who may be holding strong for now but will eventually need heat and hot water, the government is looking to local landlords and hoping for their generosity, according to the New York Times. “You really need to help out,” the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development reportedly told real-estate executives at a meeting last week. After which, we imagine, there were a lot of sideways glances.
The tentative plan is to create “a clearinghouse that would match displaced families with vacant apartments,” but there are a few issues. First and foremost, vacancy rates across the city are already extremely low, and many building owners have been stretched thin by the storm. Then, of course, there’s the money:
In the New York area, FEMA provides about $1,800 a month in rental assistance for up to 18 months. That would cover most housing in Brooklyn and Queens, but developers said it would fall short of covering many units in Manhattan.
Those being asked to sacrifice also want to hammer out legal details regarding what would happen to their bottom line in the case of damage or eviction. “People want to do the right thing,” said Manhattan landlord Charles Dorego. “But they don’t want to inherit a pig in a poke.” In other words: We would love to, but do we have to?”- NY Magazine