Thursday, February 23, 2017

Anti-Displacement

Tenant harassment is a growing crisis as more and more neighborhoods face a rising tide of speculative investment and active displacement pressure. Sharply increasing market rents in many neighborhoods are increasing pressure on long-term tenants in both rent-stabilized and unregulated apartments. Too many landlords see removing their existing tenants as the key to higher profits – with renovations in the newly vacant apartment  the key to allowing them to raise rents and deregulate apartments. Aggressive landlord strategies are often planned to achieve the vacancies. But those renovations also provide an opportunity for the City to intervene in the cycle of displacement, and flip the incentive structure so that harassment doesn’t pay. Tenants and advocates from across the city are calling for a new Certificate of No Harassment law that would use the Department of Buildings permits landlords need for their renovations as leverage to discourage tenant harassment. In early 2015, in response to ANHD’s work on this issue, Mayor de Blasio publically committed to passing a city-wide certificate of no harassment ordinance. ANHD is currently leading a community coalition to plan the policy details and work with the City Council and Administration to ensure that it is implemented. Anti-displacement advocacy is one of the central focuses of ANHD’s work with our member groups, and a key component of many areas of ANHD’s work.  Our Bank Reinvestment Advocacy includes a major focus on responsible mortgage underwriting to curtail speculative investment, and our Affordable Housing and Land Use Policy Advocacy includes a focus on equitable zoning, long-term affordability, and deep-affordability that are necessary to have a positive impact on the displacement crisis.