Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Section 8 discrimination.

I was in the leasing office the other day (not today, but the other day), and I heard the desk girl take a call to the effect of: "Yes we accept section 8 vouchers, but we currently do not have any section 8 unit vacancies, please call back later."

Isn't that illegal? I thought the state legislature passed a law that landlords with more than 6 units cannot discriminate based on source of income. Maybe not.

(And of course, once again, no waitlist, just time wasting "come back later because you don't have anything better to do with your life.")


Wrath said...

From my history of processing Section 8 vouchers, and subsequent checks payable to the landlords, while it's highly illegal to discriminate, as in they can and will loose any and all federal state and local money among other things, fundamentally, this is a government subsidized property, and they cannot under any circumstances declare certain apartments Section 8 only. As a matter of fact, if anything Section 8 tenants should have preference over anybody else! Before I moved here I researched the terms that the management group signed when they took over this property, and while it is a private firm, they still have to abide by both the terms of their contract, and well, the government.

Anonymous said...

i really appreciate your blog, i've considered tremendously about it but have searched the end of the internet to find all the reasons why not to. i've also noticed that there is that same kansas guy posting up and backing up flatbush gardens with his so called positive experience, bullshit i tell u

Megan Martin said...

I was wondering if you know of anyone there that has renewed their lease recently? I was reading over my lease (before I sign it of course!) and trying to decode the "preferential rent" clause. The actual rent is $1570 with a preferential rent of $1025. According to the rent stabilization law, depending on how the lease is worded, they can either increase it to $1570, or increase it the standard 4.5% from $1025 or $1570. But they have it worded funny and I can't figure out what's going to happen. Does anyone have a renewal experience they can share? I will call the NYC housing authority and ask them to decode it later today to see if they can figure it out.

Flatbush NYC said...

1. NYC stabilization law: The stabilized rent is the upper limit of how much they can legally charge. This amount will increase by 4% if you sign a 1 year lease and 6% if you sign a two year lease. The preferential rent is the rent they are actually charging you. When, in our case, the "market rate" is below the legal limit, they make a preferential rent below market, as no one would ever rent your place for 1500+.
When you renew your lease your stabilized limit will go up (4% for 1 year, 6% for two years), and the "preferential" amount will go up or down between $0 and the stabilized limit. Understand that they have the right to raise your rent for renewal as high as the legal limit (which will be a little higher than the current limit).

2. No, I personally don't know anyone who's renewed (that's telling of something, eh). However, I assume that renewals will be at the same price they are currently advertising places for (that may go up, as I've seen old ads with lower price points, and that's a huge assumption). It would seem odd to charge current tenants more than new tenants, but possible. I too would be interested in the renewal practice at flatbush. Someone should call. Maybe someone Amy (the front desk girl) likes.

Megan Martin said...

So I called the city and read the clause to them. What it's really saying is: "we can raise your rent from anywhere between 1025 and 1570 plus the 4% increase if you renew this lease" So they may not be able to justify a $1570/month charge but might be able to get away with 1200 or 1300, especially as the neighborhood improves.

Flatbush NYC said...

Yeah, but the weird thing about stabilization is that it's specific to each unit. For example, your 1-bedroom is stabilized at 1570, whereas my 2-bedroom is stabilized at 1300. So you probably could have found a 1 bedroom with a lower stabilization if that was a selling point. Your unit is effectively not stabilized; I mean it would be several decades before market rate surpassed your stabilization number. I wouldn't worry about rents going up too much. Manhattan is emptying out as the banks fire 1000s of people, so the pressure on Brooklyn will be less. Plus the city lost billions in tax money due to this market crash, which means fewer cops, etc. which will slow "improvements" in neighborhoods. I certainly wouldn't have looked to flatbush gardens for rent stabilization. I mean, unless you want to establish a home for a solid part of your life. It's a place to live cheaply for a while. I doubt you'll find a huge jump in quality causing the market rents to jump past your stabilization cap. I'm not market analyst, but my general sense is if you don't like FBG now, you still won't like it in 5 or even 10 years.