PRESERVING RENT REGULATION IS CRUCIAL FOR 802 MEMBERS
The loss of rent regulation would be a devastating blow to members of Local 802. That has been clear for many years, and it is why the union is active in campaigns for affordable housing and tenant rights. But precise statistics were not available until earlier this summer.
A computer analysis of member addresses recently showed that 40 percent of the 802 members who live in this state occupy rent-regulated apartments. The union’s data processing department carried out the analysis using a database of rent-regulated housing units that was provided by the New York State Tenants & Neighbors Coalition.
A total of 7,283 of our members reside in New York State – and 2,982 of them, or just over 40 percent, live in rent-regulated housing located in New York City, Nassau and Westchester counties. Another 169 (or 2.3 percent) live in Section 8 housing. These figures do not include members who may live in rent-regulated housing in other parts of the state or in other states.
TENANTS ISSUES AND THE 2001 ELECTIONS
More than 800 tenants turned out on July 18 for a mayoral forum organized by the New York State Tenants & Neighbors Coalition – making it clear that tenant rights is a burning issue for many New Yorkers, and one that will affect their decisions in this year’s local elections.
Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer and New York City Comptroller Alan Hevesi both said they would fight to renew the rent control and rent stabilization laws when they expire in 2003, and to repeal the decontrol provisions enacted by the New York City Council in 1994 and the State Legislature in 1997. Both also promised to side with tenants on issues related to state-subsidized Mitchell-Lama housing, federally subsidized Section 8 housing, public housing, SROs, lofts and lead paint.
The two other Democratic candidates, New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone and Public Advocate Mark Green, did not participate. Nor did Republican candidates Michael Bloomberg and Herman Badillo.
UNIONS DEMAND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Local 802 was one of the early endorsers of a resolution which stresses that any plan to increase the stock of affordable housing must include the preservation of tenants’ rights in rent-regulated housing, state and federally subsidized housing, and public housing. The resolution grew out of a March 6 labor breakfast on the issue (see May Allegro).
The New York City Central Labor Council endorsed the resolution in June. Other unions that have signed on include AFSCME District Council 37 and DC 37’s Local 1359, Local 1199/SEIU, the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers, CWA Local 1180, IATSE Local 1751, Local 16 of NABET/CWA, CUNY’s Professional Staff Congress and the New York State Nurses Association.