You are reading

Gianaris Introduces Legislation Calling for Rent Reductions When Utilities Are Down at NYCHA

Astoria Houses (Queens Post)

Oct. 29. 2020 By Christian Murray

If the gas line is down–the rent needs to come down with it, according to Astoria elected officials.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris announced today that he is introducing legislation that provides rent relief for NYCHA tenants should they experience utility outages.

The bill, which will be co-sponsored in the assembly next year by incoming Assembly member Zohran Mamdani, would require a 10 percent rent reduction during an outage.

The legislation was prompted by the gas outage at a NYCHA building at Astoria Houses. The building has been without cooking gas since Sept. 23 and 48 households at the 1-04 Astoria Blvd. development have been unable to prepare hot meals.

The rent at most NYCHA buildings includes utilities, Gianaris says.

“Months-long utility outages are unacceptable for any New Yorker, whether in private or public housing,” Gianaris said in a statement. “NYCHA residents should not be expected to pay full rent, which typically includes utilities, when they are not receiving the service.”

Gianaris said that his legislation would create a financial incentive for NYCHA to fix service in a more timely fashion.

The bill, called the NYCHA Utility Accountability Act, would reduce a tenant’s rent obligation on a prorated basis when there is an outage. The reduction would be the greater of 10 percent of the tenant’s rent or $75 per month. The utilities defined by the bill include, gas, heat, water and electrical service.

Gianaris said the outages at Astoria Houses are not isolated and that there have been service disruptions at NYCHA buildings across New York City.

Mamdani said that he will sponsor the bill when the legislative session begins in January.

“The ongoing utility outages so many in our neighborhood are experiencing are only the latest example of intolerable conditions and unacceptable mismanagement in New York’s public housing system.”

A spokesperson for NYCHA said that the legislation would not expedite repairs and could make the problem worse.

“Reducing or stopping rent payments would not speed up the process and would adversely affect NYCHA’s ability to make repairs, as it would decrease NYCHA’s day-to-day operating budget,” a NYCHA spokesperson said.

The agency said the process of restoring gas is complex and there is no quick turnaround.

“Restoring gas for private or public housing is a lengthy, multi-pronged process that involves numerous steps, including shutting off the gas, visiting the units for a scope of the work needed, making necessary repairs, investigating for asbestos, getting permit and inspection approval from our city partners and then coordinating with the utility company to safely turn the gas back on,” the NYCHA spokesperson said in a statement.

email the author: [email protected]

One Comment

Click for Comments 
Tanya

Yea like those NYCHA residents are the ones voting and supporting Mamdani and Gianaris. I cant afford to pay my property tax. My only rental has been vacant for over 3 months.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

Jan. 27, 2023 By Bill Parry

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.