Sometimes you just can’t win: Ask Bill Clinton Posted by: mcq
on Thursday, July 20, 2006
Clinton purposely moved his post-presidential offices to Harlem and NYC to make a statement and show support for African-Americans in general, and Harlem specifically. Well that was then and this is now:
The Harlem Tenants Council hosted the protest at 125th Street between Lenox and Park avenues that was attended by about 40 mostly elderly, African-American residents of the area. A HTC co-founder, Nellie Bailey, said the primary goal of the protest was to draw attention to what she calls a "housing crisis in Harlem," due in part to displacement because of price increases by landlords and evictions.
"We're hoping to have a dialogue with a president of enormous influence," Ms. Bailey said, "so he can understand the concerns of Harlem tenants," including the lack of a comprehensive, beneficial housing policy and legal services. A Clinton Foundation spokesman, Jay Carson, declined to comment on the protest.
The president of the Savoy Park Tenants Association, Valerie Orridge, said residents in her community generally
face two problems. Ever since Governor Pataki signed a law in 2003 that gave landlords the right to demand standard rent from tenants used to paying preferential rent — an amount lower than the standard price — landlords have demanded prices that tenants can't afford, she said. "There's a substantial difference between the two, like $300 or $400," Ms. Orridge said.
The other problem involves primary tenancy."Landlords allege that tenants don't live in their apartments and that they have other properties," she said. The New York City Rent Guidelines Board stipulates that tenants must live 183 days out of the year in their primary residences.
The Greater Harlem Real Estate Board reported that New York City's rent stabilization rate last month rose to 4.5% from 2.75% for a one-year lease and to 7.5% from 5.5% for a two-year lease. Belinda M'Baye, a broker for Harlem Homes Realty, said that fair market rentals in Harlem are also going up. "On average, rental prices for a one-bedroom apartment have increased from $800 in 2000 to $1,400 in 2006." She added that once rent surpasses $2,000 a month, the lease becomes destabilized. "More buildings are losing rent stabilization status. It's hard to say how many, there are so many buildings."
Apparently some residents of the area are unhappy with the "gentrification" of the area now underway and they blame it on Bill Clinton.
Heaven forbid that a property owner might actually actually get increased rent for improved property. And isn't that what government is for ... to ensure "affordable" housing (also known as the price the loudest voting bloc is willing to pay)?
Yes, I know elderly live there and yes, I know they live on fixed incomes, but their predicament doesn't mean a property owner must lose out on increased revenue. It is that philosophy of abrogating property rights for special interest groups, no matter how appealing, which scares the living daylights out of me. Add Kelo to NY rent control and explain again how we have an inherent right to property?
And that's today's libertarian moment. Tune in tomorrow in which time Mkultra will have replied, "you wingers would like to see granny out in the street wouldn't you?"
Shoot, I’d be happy if you could explain how I have a right to property when the city can tax me into non-ownership. Sounds like a feudal system where as long as I pay my fealty to the king I can keep my lands, no? (heh, you mentioned property rights...)
Why do I suspect Bill and company are discovering more of those laws of unintended consequences. I’m sure they had visions of revitilization for the community without realizing that as it becomes more desirable, etc.
WRT to MK’s planned response - I’ll preempt it. The difference is as a property owner I’d like the option of letting the blue haired granny stay at a lower rate, while I extort the snot out of the DINK couple driving the two Beamers and if the whole building is controlled I don’t have that option.
I recall Clinton moved to Harlem less than a week after a conservative editorialist at National Review, Rich Lowry, recommended the move on C-Span’s Washington Journal.
Clinton was embroiled in the "Central Park Apartment Fiasco", and Lowry proposed that it was fitting that the "First Black President" choose a more chocolate* neighborhood to call home. -Steve *to quote the now-famous Democrat mayor of New Orleans.