The New York Times reveals that my old Congressman, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), is one of the many wealthy New Yorkers hoarding a rent-stabilized apartment. Four of them, in fact, all located in Harlem's coveted Lenox Terrace building on 135th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues. From the Times's report:
State officials and city housing experts said in interviews that while the law does not bar tenants from having more than one rent-stabilized apartment, they knew of no one else with four of them. Others suggested that the arrangement undermines the purpose of rent regulation.
The fourth apartment, by the way, a 10th floor one-bedroom for which Rangel is paying just $630 a month (he also has a two-bedroom, a one-bedroom, and a studio on the 16th floor), is serving as his campaign office, a pretty clear violation of state and city laws mandating that rent-stabilized apartments serve as a tenant's primary residence. Then there's this:
Some Congressional ethics experts, while saying it appears legitimate for Mr. Rangel to have one rent-stabilized apartment, question whether his acceptance of the additional units may violate the House of Representatives' ban on members' accepting gifts of more than $100. They suggest that the difference between what Mr. Rangel pays for the second, third and fourth apartments and what a new market-rate tenant would pay—some $30,000 annually—could be considered a gift because it is given at the discretion of the landlord and it is not generally available to the public.