Press: Artists May Lose Studio of 20-Plus Years Due to Loft Law Loophole

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A personal account of the harmful effects of “Bloomberg’s Exclusions”. The Loft Law is designed to bring buildings into code compliance by requiring landlords and tenants to draft plans together to solve problems but first units need to win coverage. Bloomberg’s arbitrary coverage restrictions prevent that possibility. It’s NYCLT’s position that, if denied coverage and tenants are evicted, landlords will continue to rent non-compliant spaces illegally. NYCLT wants Albany to remove the coverage exclusion, let issues of code compliance be fixed. Let live/work tenants keep their homes! Read the article here.

Excerpted from DNA: “We are the people who made the cultural fabric of New York. We are working artists who embrace a community. We’ve been doing our work, but at the same time we have created a community around our house, around our home,” Ximena Garnica, who moved into the CAVE at 58 Grand St. in 2004 and uses the studio as a rehearsal space for her dance company LEIMAY. said. 

The Loft Board cited the lack of external windows as their only objection to their application, while three other tenants in the building were recommended coverage, according to the order.

Despite the fact that this space currently has street-facing windows, and work could be done to increase the light/air ratio, the Bloomberg exclusions require tenants to provide proof of windows on June 21, 2010 (Photo courtesy Tenants of 58 Grand Street).

On May 18th the tenant community made a public stand in support of the CAVE, as the Loft Board voted on the recommendation from OATH about their coverage application. The tenants worried the board members wouldn’t spend enough time reviewing the details of the trial, which they believe overlooked important facts and confused testimony. (Photos courtesy Liza Béar)

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Support S7686-A9545 to remove the deadline

NYCLT and LMLT have been working together to advocate for changes to the Loft Law in 2014. For the past few months we have focused on getting a bill sponsored which will remove the March 11, 2014 deadline for coverage application and landlord-initiated registration applications by meeting with local representatives at the city and state level. We’re grateful to the many community members who have volunteered their time to attend these meetings. We’re also thankful for the many tenants who have participated in our online community survey or who have volunteered to share their story, so we can provide representatives with more details about how the Loft Law impacts our community.

We believe the March 11, 2014 deadline should be eliminated because it excludes tenants from the protection of the law for no meaningful reason, and undermines the remedial nature of the law and the intent that it be broadly applied. Tenants who are denied Loft Law coverage will not be replaced by manufacturing uses – instead the units will stay residential and the rents will rise. Affordable housing units will be lost. Many owners will continue to rent the spaces residentially without making any effort to legalize their buildings and bring them up to fire and safety code.

In early May a bill was introduced to the State Assembly (A9545-2013) sponsored by Assemblymember Deborah Glick, co-sponsored by Keith Wright (Chair, Housing Committee), Barbara Clark, Joan Millman, Vivian Cook, Linda Rosenthal and Martiza Davila with multi-sponsorship by Margaret Markey and José Rivera. We thank these representatives for supporting live/work tenants and for their effort to create more rent stabilized housing throughout NYC. As of Friday, May 30, this bill has moved to the floor and has been put on the calendar for a vote – the loft tenant community is hopeful this can happen before the legislative summer recess (June 18).

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