phndc.org

The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council

Housing
Buildings which are used for residential purposes.

A victory for tenants in Prospect Heights

Posted: June 19, 2019 - 11:41am

Recently, the New York State legislature passed amendments to the rent regulation laws, which will alter or eliminate many common elements of the landlord/rent regulated tenant relationship. These new laws include:

  • Limits on decontrol. Currently, rent regulated apartments whose rent increases beyond a certain point or whose tenants make more than $200,000 a year may become market rate apartments. The new laws abolish or limit this practice.
  • Rent step-ups.  Currently, landlords may raise rents more than the annual amount due to vacancy or major capital improvements, or due to the difference between the maximum legal rent and a lower 'preferential' rent. The new laws abolish or limit these step-ups.
  • Conversion. Currently, landlords may convert a rental building to a co-op or condominium (without evicting existing tenants) if 15% of the units have bona fide purchasers.  The new laws require 51%, and the purchasers must be existing tenants, not investors. 
  • Permanence.  Currently, the rent regulation laws must be periodically reauthorized. These new laws are intended to be permanent. 

The new laws represent, in our opinion, a shift in the balance of power from the landlord of the rent regulated building to the rent regulated tenant: the laws remove many tools and incentives for landlords to vacate and decontrol regulated apartments and turn them into market rate units. Prospect Heights has seen significant displacement of residents by income over the last fifteen years. In PHNDC’s 2016 neighborhood survey, residents identified social and economic diversity as being one of the characteristics most important for a good quality of life. Residents also most frequently cited housing as the area in need of greatest improvement in Prospect Heights. We believe these new laws will make it easier for Prospect Heights tenants in rent stabilized housing to remain in the neighborhood as housing cost continues to increase, so consider their passage a win for our community.

More information about the rights of tenants, and services available to assist them, is available at http://www.phndc.org/KnowYourRights.

Know Your Rights, Keep Your Apartment

Start Date: 
May 20, 2019 - 7:00pm
Categories
Topic : 
Housing
Sponsored By: 
Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council
Location: 
Brooklyn Public Library Central Library
10 Grand Army Plaza Information Commons Lab
United States
Description: 

As gentrification of Brooklyn neighborhoods continues, pressure on tenants builds from landlords anxious to increase rents. The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council has teamed up with IMPACCT Brooklyn and JustFix.nyc to help tenants with the information and tools they need to keep their apartments and stay in the communities they love. If you are currently facing displacement pressure, or simply want to be prepared in the event of a change of building ownership, you will learn how to:

 

  • Prepare yourself. Have the facts about your lease, and know your rights.
  • Fix your rent. Take advantage of programs that can reduce your rent.
  • Build your case. Tenant harassment is illegal. Don’t let your landlord get away with it.
  • Connect with help. Community-based organizations are here to assist you.
  • Grow your circle. You, your neighbors, and your community are stronger together.
  • Keep your housing options open. Thousands of new affordable apartments will be built over the next decade in this part of Brooklyn. You have a chance to win one.

 

Open to: 
General public

Property tax "Day of Action" for seniors and individuals with disabilities

Start Date: 
January 16, 2018 - 10:00am - 4:00pm
Categories
Topic : 
Housing
Sponsored By: 
NYC Department of Finance
Location: 
Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemon Street Courtroom
United States
Description: 

Seniors and individuals with disabilities who own their homes have until January 16, 2018, to apply for the newly expanded Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE) or Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption (DHE). Recently enacted legislation has increased the number of homeowners who qualify for SCHE and DHE. Seniors and people with disabilities who own their homes and have incomes up to $50,000 may qualify for the full 50% reduction in their home's assessed value. Additionally, those with incomes up to $58,399 may benefit from a lower reduction.

Working with local elected officials, the Department of Finance has successfully enrolled hundreds of homeowners since late 2017. Any homeowners who have not yet applied for either of these property tax credits but feel that they may qualify are encouraged to attend the "Day of Action" on Tuesday, January 16th at any point between 10 AM and 4 PM. Prospective applicants must bring their 2016 recent tax return as well as a form of photo identification. (Those who did not file tax returns should bring documentation of all sources of income.) For additional information, please call 311 or visit our website at www.nyc.gov/sche or www.nyc.gov/dhe.
 

Open to: 
Seniors and individuals with disabilities who own their homes

Free help for you and your neighbors facing displacement pressure

Posted: August 16, 2017 - 11:14am

For tenants, being prepared can mean the difference between staying in Prospect Heights and getting displaced. Let’s talk about what you can do now.

The cost of a new lease for some apartments in Prospect Heights has nearly doubled over the last fifteen years. Thousands of residents have been displaced during that time. And more apartment buildings are changing hands--often with the expectation by the new owners that new tenants will be willing to pay much higher rent.

The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (PHNDC) was founded in 2004 to advocate for neighborhood-wide issues on behalf of the Prospect Heights community. PHNDC wants to help community members better understand their rights as tenants. By learning about strategies to address displacement pressure now, tenants have a better chance of keeping their apartments and staying in the neighborhood, no matter what the future may bring. And if building residents are already experiencing tenant harassment, there are resources in the community that can help them organize and fight back.

Community Board 8 Land Use Committee

Start Date: 
September 7, 2017 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Categories
Topic : 
Urban planning
Housing
Zoning
Landmarking
Sponsored By: 
Brooklyn Community Board 8
Location: 
CNR - CenterLight Health Care Center
727 Classon Avenue (between Park and Prospect Places)
United States
Description: 

The Land Use Committee of Community Board 8 reviews applications for zoning changes, variances,  historic designations, and building permits in historic districts.

The September meeting include a review of a zoning change application from the owners of 587 Bergen Street. The property is currently zoned M1-1 and is vacant. The owners are asking that it instead be included in the boundary of the neighboring R6B zone to allow for the construction of a four-story apartment building. An earlier presentation by the owners indicated the building will contain 26 apartments, with 10 being affordable, and 13 below-ground parking spaces.

Open to: 
General public

Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council launches drive to assist rent-stabilized tenants

Posted: June 7, 2017 - 12:48pm

BROOKLYN, NY, June 7, 2017: Today, the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (PHNDC) announced a new campaign to address displacement pressure experienced by tenants of the neighborhood’s rent-stabilized apartments. Executed in partnership with IMPACCT Brooklyn and JustFix.nyc, the Know Your Rights, Keep Your Apartment initiative will educate residents of multifamily housing on protecting their rights as tenants, offer web and mobile tools for documenting instances of harassment, and provide referrals for assistance to tenants threatened with displacement.

PHNDC’s research has shown that, over the past fifteen years, as much as twenty percent of the residents of Prospect Heights have been directly displaced from the neighborhood. “We know that Prospect Heights residents believe social and economic diversity is key to maintaining the quality of life in our community,” said PHNDC Chair Rob Witherwax. “This initiative is a response to gentrification and development pressure that ultimately affects everyone living and working in this neighborhood.”

“With our partners IMPACCT Brooklyn and JustFix.nyc, we’re rolling out a full-lifecycle campaign that prepares tenants with strategies to counter harassment, assistance for when they experience it, and ongoing organizing support,” said Gib Veconi of PHNDC’s Housing Committee.