Target: Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City
Goal: Prohibit landlords from increasing rents unless tenants’ wages increase.
It seems that whenever starving artists discover a new neighborhood they can afford in New York City, suddenly the neighborhood starts getting attention. Gourmet coffee shops and organic markets begin popping up on street corners. Parks and bike paths are constructed. And of course, there are the luxury condo buildings that begin appearing everywhere, driving the price of surrounding rents up and forcing existing tenants out. This has gone on now to the point where there’s practically nowhere else for artists, immigrants and other low-income earners to go, except out of New York. Tell Mayor Bloomberg to stop allowing landlords to raise tenants’ rents unless their wages increase.
Many of New York City’s landlords are permitted by law to increase a tenant’s rent by a certain percentage every year. This wouldn’t be a problem, if the tenant’s wages increased as well. But wages have stagnated over the past few years while the cost of food, gas and other expenses have increased. It seems like now would be a good time to revisit New York’s rent stabilization laws.
New York City’s leaders have a duty to remember that New York is known for more than Wall Street. Its diverse mix of people from every single part of the world, its fertile ground for artistic inspiration, its ability to nurture whatever creative pursuit one has — these are also what make New York great. But the cost of living here, in terms of both basic necessities like food and “unnecessary necessities” like cell phones and internet is steadily becoming unrealistic for those making low incomes.
As long as the cost of living steadily increases and wages don’t, the burden needs to be unloaded somewhere. The existing rent stabilization laws don’t seem to be applicable to a modern New York. Moving forward, landlords should not be allowed to raise a tenant’s rent unless the tenant’s wages increase. With more people moving into the city, more solutions need to be made available for the consequences resulting from high income earners invading low-income neighborhoods. Ask Mayor Bloomberg to prohibit landlords from annual rent increases unless a tenant’s wages increase.
Dear Mayor Bloomberg,
The continuous influx of high-income earners into low-income neighborhoods has been steadily driving existing tenants out of their homes and further away from urban centers. New York City’s leaders have a responsibility to remember that New York is known for more than Wall Street. It’s diverse mix of cultures and nurturance of creative artistic expression are also what make New York such a unique city. But the increasing cost of living mixed with stagnating wages are making it impossible for many New Yorkers to find a place to live.
Suitable housing opportunities need to continue being made available for artists, immigrants and other low-income earners. We all have a right to be here, and New York needs us here. So stop forcing us out. We ask you to prohibit landlords from annually increasing rents unless a tenant’s wages increase.
[Your Name Here]
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