Small NYC Homeowners trying to make ends meet are being punished by New York City Lawmakers while Developers and Hotel Lobbyists Are Allowed To Run Amok
September 5, 2023, just one day after Labor Day, is doomsday for New York City’s 1 and 2 family homeowners. Small homeowners are no longer allowed to rent out their apartments for short term rentals, which they use to make ends meet in one of the most expensive cities in the world. New York City will begin enforcing a law that was enacted and passed by the City Council in 2021. The law was poorly written and most of the Council Members and the mayor say the law was intended to stop large building owners and corporations from acting as a sort of hotel by providing short term rental apartments to tourists traveling to New York City. However, the law includes 1 and 2 family homeowners who live in their homes. The politicians said 1 and 2 family homeowners were supposed to be spared from this law. That was another lie by politicians. As Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said in an interview, “We were clear our intent is not to go after one- and two-family homeowners… But the administration looks like they’ve opened a can of wild, wild west whoop-ass on them.”
Current City Council Members (see the list below) and Mayor Eric Adams had an opportunity to pause the enforcement until the law was amended to exempt 1 and 2 family homeowners from the poorly written legislation. Instead, the Mayor and Council Members sat by and did nothing, which means the enforcement will begin September 5th, the day after Labor Day. Enforcement means homeowners who provide short term rentals in their 2 family homes will face fines of up to $5,000. Homeowners can’t make ends meet, but they will be hit with yet another huge New York City fine, caused directly by politicians.
Here are the original City Council Members who voted for this poorly written law that has caused the doomsday for homeowners.
Seniors and retirees depend on the short-term rental income to make ends meet and to pay their mortgage and taxes, which continues to increase, while developers continue to get tax breaks from lawmakers. As soon as hard-working folks in New York City figure out a way to make ends meet, it seems lawmakers create and enforce laws to keep them back.
The hotel lobbyists and the politicians are pushing this insane narrative that the city needs these apartments for the city housing stock. There are tons of brand-new buildings being built throughout New York City, with tens of thousands of available apartments. Why would the city hurt small homeowners who are simply trying to make ends meet. The spare apartment in their 2-family home has no impact on housing stock in New York City. That is simply a talking point for hotel lobbyists and developers, and politicians are carrying their message in return for political contributions and endorsements.
Small homeowners should be exempt from the regulations and the city should instead go after investors, developers and corporations who are making a full fledge business out of short-term rentals. It’s about profit for them, but for those of us who struggle to keep our homes, this is a way to help us continue to keep our homes. These laws are a direct hit on homeowners. These same politicians call on us every year when they are running for office, only to stab us in the back by creating laws that go against our interest. I don’t trust politicians and I definitely don’t trust the ones who are in office and not doing anything to amend this law. One- and two-family homeowners should absolutely be able to rent the extra apartment in the house where the homeowner lives. There’s no reason for one- and two-family homeowners to have been included in this law in the first place.
According to reports, more than four-fifths of NYC hosts on Airbnb have just one listing to their name, according to data from Inside Airbnb, while the handful of hosts with multiple properties manage nearly half of all Airbnb listings in the city. If those are the people the city is trying to go after then why not exempt one- and two-family homeowners from the law and go after those corporations.
I know the Council Members and Mayor would have to actually read the legislation, but dammit that’s their job. They just have to read, have common sense, and talk to homeowners about their issues instead of just calling asking for our vote. I will not support anyone who takes money from hotel lobbyists or developers and that’s something I’m telling other homeowners to look at. We have to put real pressure on politicians to support our issues, which are simple. I just want the ability to use my home to help me make ends meet. That’s all we’re asking for. If they can continue to give developers tax breaks and support hotel lobbyists, then there’s no reason why they cannot quickly amend this law. We need to be completely exempt from these insane laws, like Local 18.
This is just one law that the Council Members screwed up. What’s scary is all the other laws they are screwing up. This is probably why there is so much homelessness, and why so many hotels are now shelters. When I saw all these sleazy hotels opening up throughout Brooklyn, I knew something terrible was happening. I knew there were some laws that these politicians were trying to sneak in.
We are in the day where the only way to get an affordable apartment is through a lottery. How insane is that? Developers and hotel lobbyists have taken over the housing stock in NYC, but the politicians want you to believe that small homeowners are the problem. There are small cities being built in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. The “small cities” are luxury high rise developments with multiple buildings with hundreds of thousands of apartments, of which many remain empty. Why don’t they turn the sleazy hotels into permanent housing? I guess that makes too much sense and the hotel lobbyists won’t endorse you or contribute to your political campaigns.
These same politicians give developers tax breaks but then turn around and tax New Yorkers to pay for it. This is unsustainable and the New York City politicians are to blame, plain and simple. They are selling New Yorkers out. They are out there partying with you at parades and community events, but they are sticking the knife in our back by creating laws that hurt us while providing tax breaks to developers, increasing our taxes, increasing transit fares, parking fees, registration fees, fines, and other fees. They are getting ready to place more fines on us through congestion pricing. It never ends. But when a homeowner wants to rent out their apartment in their own home for short term rentals, these same politicians create laws to make sure you do not get ahead.
Politicians try to blame the Office of Special Enforcement (OSE) for enforcing the laws that the politicians created themselves. It’s more insanity. Politicians create a law that hurts us and then say hey we’ll talk to OSE to see what they can do about it. Dammit you created the law. OSE is enforcing a law that you created. They really think New Yorkers are stupid. These politicians in particular at this very moment are the ones that are hurting New Yorkers. Vote for anyone other than the people on this list. They are making our lives harder every day, whether you are a homeowner or a long time New Yorker looking for an affordable apartment. NYC is going to be for the very rich or the very poor. We are witnessing it right in front of our very eyes. They must amend this law immediately, and they need to look at other laws that are hurting New Yorkers who are just trying to make ends meet. They need to start with laws that are supported by developers and hotel lobbyists. Those are the laws that the politicians need to focus on.
These are the Council Members who have the ability to immediately amend the law, but so far have sat on their hands while the hammer is being put down on homeowners. Let’s spread the word that the members are not to be trusted by homeowners unless they amend this insane law.
Gale A. Brewer
Kristin Richardson Jordan
Carmen De La Rosa
Kevin C. Riley
Pierina Ana Sanchez
Rafael Salamanca Jr.
James F. Gennaro
Adrienne E. Adams
Robert F. Holden
Selvena N. Brooks-Powers
Farah N. Louis
Joseph C. Borelli
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