Nolan Speaks Out Against Latest Threat to Affordable Housing in Queens

April 9, 2008

Albany – Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan of Queens has joined Assemblywoman Marge Markey and the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD), to express concern about the recent purchase by corporate investors of rent-regulated apartment buildings in Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights and Flushing.

The acquisition is an example of a developing real estate trend where private equity investors purchase low and moderate-rent apartment buildings and raise rents to levels current tenants cannot afford. This is an attempt to provide corporate investors with a higher rate of return than would typically be possible from this kind of purchase; a practice called predatory equity by affordable housing advocates.

“Illegal eviction of tenants sets a negative precedent by depriving tenants of their right to affordable rent-regulated homes. I have written a letter to the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal Commissioner, Deborah Van Amerogen, to ensure that the rights of tenants are protected,” said Nolan.

Developers have reportedly used a variety of tactics to force tenants out of their apartments, including, harassment, baseless legal action intended to intimidate, denial of repairs and basic services, aggressive buyout efforts and threats to call the immigration authorities.

“It is unconscionable if this kind of harassment is being used to accelerate the eviction of current tenants so developers are able to improve the properties and charge higher rents. Affordable housing is an absolute necessity in this city and without it we are neglecting our moral responsibility to those less fortunate,” said Nolan.

Assemblywoman Nolan and Assemblywoman Markey have made this issue a priority and will continue to protect affordable housing for the people of Queens.