Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rent Stabilization for Me, but not for Thee

The NYT posts this nice follow up on the sweetheart deal that Charlie Rangel is getting on his multiple rent-controlled apartments. Though the primary focus of the article is on the extremely heavy-handed tactics the Olnick Organization is using to try to evict people from rent controlled apartments, it’s even more clear that Congressman Rangel’s getting a special deal.

For some reason, he thinks that it’s beyond comprehension that a 19 term congressman, and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, would get special treatment from a corporation.

Righty-Ho, Congressman.

Turns out that New York’s Governor, David Patterson, is also riding this gravy train:

“Yet some Lenox Terrace residents question why the governor himself has been allowed to retain the two-bedroom apartment he leases there at the rent-stabilized price of $1,250 per month. For years, Mr. Paterson has owned a home in the Albany suburb of Guilderland. This spring, he said he was moving his family into the Executive Mansion, which New York State provides for its governor, a gracious 40- room Victorian house that overlooks the Hudson River.

State rent regulations define a primary residence as a home where a tenant spends at least 183 days per year. Mr. Paterson said Lenox Terrace officials had never challenged his residency.

‘I’m there every week,’ the governor said. “So there was no way they would do anything like that.’”

Well, “there every week” is a far cry from 183 days of residence per year. But a long time State Senator, Lt. Governor, and now Governor doesn’t have to play by the same rules.