Posted by Leonard Steinberg on February 11th, 2014

The gorgeous building housing CITY HALL restaurant at 131 Duane Street just sold for over $18 million: this sale highlights an issue that Mayor De Blasio needs to address related to AFFORDABLE HOUSING: The building houses 6 rent stabilized tenants who are supposedly paying an average of $ 700/month for their apartments that measure around 2,000sf. Granted these apartments are in extremely mediocre condition but I have to ask why these people are entitled to low rent for life and other, possibly more talented artists are not? Why could these artists not be housed elsewhere for $ 700/month?  Why if these tenants care so much for the poor are they not willing to divide their spaces in two and suffice with 1,000sf for $ 700/month? Why can’t I become an artist and rent a 2,000sf loft for $ 700/month while everyone else has to foot the bill?

As much as there is a shortage of affordable housing, I think its time to do a strict City-wide audit of all those who are beneficiaries of the antiquated, unfair rent-control system that provides a select few with cheap rent while so many others with as limited (if not more limited) means have to do without….leaving the rest of us to foot the bill…….without a thank you note either!