The New York State Senate recently passed legislation that will allow for New York City Housing Authority owned developments, such as Bushwick Houses, to fall under federal oversight and qualify for much-needed funding.
For more than a decade, 21 NYCHA developments have received no funding from the City and State of New York. Pending additional budget cuts in the proposed 2010–11 state budget, NYCHA stood to face an unprecedented $88 million operational budget shortfall.
In response to the recent spate of rent regulated building owners intentionally destroying units in attempts to drive tenants out, Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Bushwick) and Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D-North Brooklyn) have introduced new legislation making the practice a criminal act.
S. 6941 would expand tenant protections by establishing the crime of Sabotage of Rent Regulated Accommodations, a class D felony. Existing tenant protections prohibit the harassment of rent regulated tenants in an attempt to drive them out. However, the recent rise in intentional destruction of regulated units, and the severity of the damage, are well beyond the scope of current law.