City Hall – Yesterday, The Association for Neighborhood Housing and Development (ANHD), Make The Road New York, and other housing advocates, rallied on the steps of City Hall to show their public support of a proposed City Council introduction that, if passed, would require corporate landlords to disclose names and business addresses of its officers.
The bill would also affect corporate investors who own 25 percent or more shares of ownership.
“The proposal recognizes that dwellings are increasingly owned by partnerships rather than individual owners,” according to a statement from NYC Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, the intro’s prime sponsor.
Should this introduction make it out of committee and onto the chamber floor through Speaker Quinn, it promises to beam sunlight on owners who anonymously benefit from reckless litigation and tactics used to harass tenants, particularly those from low-income communities.
The lack of transparency makes it dificult to track and hold accountable problematic corporate landlords. Mark-Viverito introduced this bill last year. However, it never made it onto the chamber floor for a vote.
This year, the effort to secure its passage into law is being led by ANHD, a coalition of 99 NYC-based affordable housing groups and Make the Road New York, one of the city’s largest immigrant organizations, with over 7,000 active members.
Currently, NYC has an existing law that accomplishes the precise aims of this introduction.
However, it is narrow in scope as it regulates only Single Room Occupant (SRO) dwellings. This bill widens its scope of influence to multiple dwellings, which would have a much broader impact.
While the proposal’s language isn’t text heavy on enforcement, the teeth in it lies in its power to block corporate landlords who don’t disclosure officer and owner date from filing nonpayment claims against the tenants, until they disclose.