Last month tenants at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village (ST-PCV) received several Major Capital Improvement (MCI) rent increase orders issued by the New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR). These MCI orders will mean sizable rent increases and considerable retroactive charges for tenants.
On October 16, I wrote to and spoke with DHCR Commissioner Darryl Towns to echo the ST-PCV Tenant Association’s (TA) concerns about the first MCI order for the video intercoms (see my letter attached). On October 30, I joined City Councilmember Garodnick and Assembly Member Kavanagh in writing to Commissioner Towns urging him to stop the process, reverse the approvals, and reconsider all of the MCIs granted.
In response to efforts of the TA and local elected officials, on November 8, DHCR granted the ST-PCV TA’s request for reconsideration of the MCI charges, buying the TA vital time to gather additional Public Membership Pledges, which allows the TA’s attorney to represent tenants who signed in their appeal of the MCIs.
I am continuing to work with the TA, its lawyer, Councilmember Garodnick, Assembly Member Kavanagh, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Borough President Scott Stringer to address all of the recent MCI orders. I am also working on the larger fight in Albany to pass legislation reforming the MCI system. Essential reforms include ending the MCI payment period when the improvement costs have been recouped, excluding MCI charges from the base rent, and ensuring only actual improvements or increases in services – not ordinary, required maintenance – are eligible for MCIs.