This year several important provisions to the Loft Law will “sunset” (expire) on June 30, 2015. These are items tenants worked hard to fix thru the 2013 Clean Up the Loft Law campaign (A3354/S2320) which:
- reduced rent milestones to 3-3-4% (instead of 6-8-6%),
- reduced the minimum square footage for applicant units to 400sq ft (instead of 550), and
- gave the Loft Board the authority to “include units under the loft law despite any incompatible uses in the building.”
If this bill is allowed to expire, any applicants or tenants affected by these provisions will be held to the previous language of the law. For example, if a tenant has not yet reached the second rent milestone at the 3% rate their rent will increase by 8% instead, or, if an applicant has a 400sq ft unit they could loose their coverage hearing because the law would require a 550sq ft minimum.
There are other problems with the Loft Law that the NYCLT community would like to fix.There were several provisions and statues added to the 2010 Loft Law which did not exist in the original version of the law. These items were inserted in the 11th hour of legislation by Bloomberg to limit the growth of new rent stabilized housing, these items are arbitrary, go against the spirit of the Loft Law to bring buildings into fire and safety compliance, and leave individual tenants and buildings in legal limbo which would otherwise qualify for coverage.
Some of the items we would like to fix this legislative season (Spring 2015) are:
- removing the March 11, 2014 application deadline,
- moving “windows” from a coverage requirement to a “light and air” code-compliance item as it was in the 1981 version of the Loft Law,
- removing the “basement” exclusion, and
- further clarifying the Incompatible Use exclusion which is unnecessarily complicated and over-burdensome in cost for tenants and landlords to address.
There are certainly other prohibitive items which tenants would like to rectify and we have an anonymous community survey where tenants can submit their stories or ideas about what’s wrong with the Loft Law. The reality is we have a GOP majority State Senate which is conservative in their embrace of NYC loft tenant issues and a city dominated by real estate and developer interests. We have a lot of work to do to get our issues understood and supported by representatives in time for a vote before the June 30, 2015 sunset deadline.
We encourage tenants to take action now to make sure we succeed. We can not do this without your help.
Even a little bit can go a long way. Tenants can visit our Volunteer page for ideas, fwd this page to their neighbors and
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