Thursday, July 17, 2008

Double Standards In Harlem

Charlie Rangel's "ethics problems" not sitting well with locals:
At Lenox Terrace, the luxury development in Harlem, management uses two sets of standards when it comes to rent-stabilized tenants, many residents say.

For the select group of prominent or politically connected apartment dwellers like Representative Charles B. Rangel, Lenox Terrace provides below-market accommodations and does little to scrutinize whether the arrangements comply with rent-stabilization laws.

For other residents, however, the owner has a different posture: aggressively enforcing even arcane provisions of the regulations, threatening costly court battles to drive tenants from their rent-stabilized homes, and using other tactics that some housing advocates describe as harassment.
Of course the double standard exists, I don't think people find its existence shocking. What I find more shocking is that Rangel claims he doesn't know about the double standard:
Mr. Rangel said last week that he never considered that he was getting a special deal from the Olnick Organization, even as he acknowledged that he had for years been allowed to lease four rent-stabilized units at Lenox Terrace at about half the market rate.
So which is worse, an aggressive landlord protecting what he considers to be his rights, or a national leader who seems incapable of seeing the disprate circumstances in his own community.

Of course it does explain Rangel's blind eye toward sound economic principles.

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