Thank you Arthur for a great article, summarizing the Loft Law in easy to digest chunks, explaining why this law is so necessary for residents and businesses and how average citizens can become activists influencing their legal environment. Read the article here.
Excerpted from VICE Thump: In 2015, Brooklyn-based musician and lo bit landscapes label owner Arthur Purvis, along with a number of other residents, was locked out of the Williamsburg live/work space where he’d resided for 13 years—with many of his possessions still inside. Following multiple visits to their home, the Department of Buildings had deemed that the spot, like many converted living spaces in New York, wasn’t up to code. Hoping to return home, he and his housemates leaned on the city’s Loft Law, which is meant to work with landlords to eliminate residential safety and fire hazards while protecting tenants from eviction. They are still locked out two and a half years later.
Now, Purvis is campaigning to reform the Loft Law, which was amended in 2010 by then-mayor Michael Bloomberg to require tenants to apply for legal loft status by June 15, 2017 or risk not being covered by the law—along with a number of other restrictions that make it harder to convert their spaces into legal residences. Alongside housing advocacy group NYC Loft Tenants, Purvis is helping to raise awareness about Loft Law issues. Here, Purvis tells THUMP what it was like to be locked out of his home, and how that’s driven him to become an activist for DIY spaces and their residents.
A great article explaining NYCLT’s legislative goals in Albany this spring, and the money and politics behind why all tenants struggle in NYC. Read the article here.
Excerpted from The Village Voice: “The Loft Law protects the live-work creative spaces that are one of the many lifebloods of this great city,” says Brooklyn-based musician, record label owner, and Loft Law supporter Arthur Purvis.
In 2010 state lawmakers updated the window of eligibility, added additional protections, and expanded the law’s jurisdiction to Brooklyn. However, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in at the last minute added a bunch of amendments known as “the Bloomberg exclusions.“Mayor Bloomberg inserted language that weakens the law and eventually sunsets its protections entirely,” Purvis says
With the 2017 Loft Law “Clean-Up” Bill, advocates hope to restore the law to its former glory and then some with measures including:
- Updating the window of eligibility to include the years 2015–17
- Removing the current application deadline of June 15, 2017, so that tenants can apply whenever they find out about the law and/or get up the courage (the original Loft Law had no deadline)
- Repealing the window, basement, and additional exclusions added in 2010
- Making updated rent milestones and unit-size requirements permanent
Despite running on a promise of affordable housing, our current mayor has yet to even make a statement on the only law currently on the books that can convert preexisting market rate housing into rent-stabilized housing. NYCLT volunteers tell The Village Voice what they’re hoping for from Mayor de Blasio and why it’s vital for Albany to fix the Loft Law this year.
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)