The Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) has criticized a fresh effort to end the Major Capital Improvement Program that recoups the cost of repairs for New York building owners.
“Not content with killing 25,000 jobs, Senator [Michael] Gianaris is now attempting to kill thousands more,” said Jay Martin, executive director of CHIP.
The boss of the group that represents thousands of apartment building owners in New York Cityʼs five boroughs after a press conference by the No More MCIs Coalition, Senator Michael Gianaris and Assembly Member Brian Barnwell announced the introduction of new legislation to end the MCI program.
“Too many tenants are priced out of their homes because of MCIs whose only improvement seems to be the landlord’s bottom line,” said Gianaris. “All New Yorkers deserve high quality, affordable homes and our proposal brings us closer to that goal by ensuring repairs are made without burdening tenants with unreasonable costs.”
“The Major Capital Improvement program is responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in rent increases on rent regulated tenants,” said Assembly Member Brian Barnwell.
And tenant leader Nilda Rivera said, “It’s time for the abolishing of the MCI’s for all tenants and taking away the power from all greedy landlords.”
The existing MCI program was enacted in the 1970s as a way to incentivize landlords to perform repairs on rent regulated apartments. MCIs must be submitted by landlords for approval by the New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR). Tenants are allowed to challenge increases and have 45 days following notice of increases to do so.
Senator Gianaris and Assembly Member Barnwell’s legislation would eliminate the MCI program and would repeal MCIs issued within the last seven years.
According to CHIP, the proposals is the latest effort to quash a program that has helped maintain housing standards in the city.
“The MCI program employs thousands of skilled contractors, plumbers, and electricians who do vital work to keep buildings updated for tenants. Eliminating this program will cost jobs, and force building owners to delay or stop making critical improvements,” said Martin.
“Senator Gianaris is leading New York in a race to the bottom and if this proposal passes every building in New York will look like a NYCHA building.”