New York City Board Votes to Freeze Rents on One-Year Leases

30 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

City board approves rent freeze for first time in NYC history, barring hikes on any of the city’s 1 million rent-stabilized apartments.

After failing in their efforts to overhaul rent laws in Albany, New York City tenants in more than one million rent-regulated apartments got some good news: a one-year holiday from rent increases. “This was the right call,” Mayor de Blasio said Monday night. “We know tenants have been forced to make painful choices that pitted ever-rising rent against necessities like groceries, childcare and medical bills.

The 7-to-2 vote by the city’s Rent Guidelines Board was an acknowledgment of the precarious situation of scores of tenants whose incomes have not kept pace with housing costs. It was the first time the board voted to freeze rents in 46 years of deliberation, and it carried through on a statement Mayor Bill de Blasio made during the 2013 mayoral campaign that “tenants desperately needed a rent freeze.” The freeze followed what had then been a record-low rise last year, a 1% increase in one-year leases and a 2.75% increase in two-year leases, during Mr. de Blasio’s first year in office.

This is the difference between being able to afford groceries and not,” said Esteban Giron, 36, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. “If it went up at all, right now we’re budgeted so tightly that we don’t have $5 or $10 lying around,” said Giron, who is unemployed. “It would have been really difficult.” “It is despicable that politics prevailed over common sense. But his housing plan aims at building new affordable housing while staving off the loss of existing affordable units — either through rent increases or the removal of stabilized apartments from regulation. There is no basis for a rent freeze,” said Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association. “Ironically, de Blasio’s mantra has been the preservation of affordable housing, but his support of a rent freeze, coupled with last year’s 1% rent increase, will have the opposite effect, spurring the deterioration and eventual eradication of affordable housing.” The move came after the board — made up of two tenant reps, two landlord reps and five members representing the public —was filled entirely with de Blasio appointees. They blamed rising city property taxes and water bills for much of the pressure on building owners. “Today’s decision places unrealistic expectations on building owners to subsidize affordable housing on their backs, despite the city’s lack of maintaining control on costs on owners at every turn,” said Patrick Siconolfi, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program, which represents many landlords of smaller buildings. At the meeting, about 900 tenants filled most of the Great Hall at Cooper Union, chanting “rent rollback, rent rollback.” Tenant leaders had pressed the state Legislature to end “vacancy decontrol,” which deregulates empty apartments once their rent exceeds a certain threshold.

But the board, which at the time still had some appointees of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ended up opting for a 1% hike. “For me, it’s a triumph,” said Carmen Pinero, 73, who said she’s had trouble for years with her Prospect Heights landlord. “They’re trying to raise the rent and get us out … (Now) it will be easier.” “It’s a slap in the face for small property owners. This year, the board is looking at research by its staff showing that landlords’ operating income, after expenses, has grown for nine consecutive years, most recently by 3.4 percent. For rent-stabilized tenants, the median gross rent-to-income ratio, meaning the percentage of a household’s income that goes to pay for rent and utilities, rose slightly to 36.4 percent last year. The numbers justify a rollback, certainly a freeze.” One renter, Kimberly Morales, 20, a college student, said she may have to quit school to help her mother pay the $1,154 monthly rent on a two-bedroom apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, which also houses three younger brothers.

Cuomo, a Democrat, and Albany legislators to strengthen the state rent law that governs rent regulated apartments in the renters’ favor when it was renewed last week for four years. Some tenant advocates say that the provision means that the only way to get a sizable rise in the threshold for vacancy deregulation is to increase rents. The range of options before the rent board this year included unprecedented low increases and a temporary moratorium, which the board had never done in the past.

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UPDATE 1-Western Refining to buy rest of Northern Tier

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Upgrades Northern Tier Energy LP (NTI) to “Neutral”.

Under the deal, Northern Tier unit holders would receive $15 a unit in cash and 0.2986 Western Refining share for each common unit held, or roughly $26.21 a unit based on Monday’s close. EL PASO, Texas and TEMPE, Ariz., Dec. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Western Refining, Inc. (NYSE:WNR) and Northern Tier Energy LP (NYSE:NTI) today jointly announced that they have entered into a merger agreement whereby Western will acquire all of NTI’s outstanding common units not already owned by Western. Northern Tier Chief Executive Dave Lamp in prepared remarks Monday said that the MLP model “has not been rewarded by the equity market, as evidenced by the historical disconnect between NTI’s high yield and low unit price.” “With a simplified corporate structure and diverse geographic base, the new Western will be well positioned to unlock additional value for shareholders,” Mr. As an alternative to the cash and stock consideration, each NTI unitholder may elect to receive, per NTI unit, either $26.06 in cash or 0.7036 of a share of WNR.

Assuming completion of the proposed transaction, NTI will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of WNR and NTI common units will cease to be publicly traded. Jeff Stevens, President and CEO of WNR said, “The merger of Western and NTI will result in the combined entity owning three of the most profitable independent refineries on a gross margin per barrel basis, with direct pipeline access to advantaged crude oil combined with an integrated retail and wholesale distribution network. The terms of the merger agreement were approved by the WNR Board of Directors and the Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of NTI’s general partner, which negotiated the terms on behalf of NTI. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock.

The call and slide presentation can be accessed on the Investor Relations section of Western’s website,, and on the Investor Relations section of Northern Tier’s website at The Company has refining, retail and logistics operations that serve the Petroleum Administration for Defense District II (PADD II) region of the United States. Goldman Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor to Western, and Vinson & Elkins, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Richards Layton & Finger acted as legal counsel to Western. This press release includes “forward-looking statements” by Western (which are protected as forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) and by NTI.

The Company’s retail segment operated 165 convenience stores under the SuperAmerica brand and also supported 89 franchised convenience stores, which are also operated under the SuperAmerica brand. These statements are subject to the risk that the merger is not consummated at all, including due to the inability of Western or NTI to obtain all approvals necessary or the failure of other closing conditions, as well as to the general risks inherent in Western’s and NTI’s businesses and the merged company’s ability to compete in a highly competitive industry.

If you are reading this article on another website, that means this article was illegally copied and re-published to this website in violation of U.S. and International copyright law. In addition, Western’s and Northern Tier’s business and operations involve numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Western’s and NTI’s control, which could materially affect their respective financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and those of the merged company.

The forward-looking statements are only as of the date made, and neither Western nor NTI undertake any obligation to (and each expressly disclaims any obligation to) update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date such statements were made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation is unlawful. Any such offer will be made only by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, pursuant to a registration statement filed with the SEC. The retail segment includes retail service stations, convenience stores, and unmanned fleet fueling locations in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Beyersdorfer (602) 286-1530 Michelle Clemente (602) 286-1533 Northern Tier Investor and Analyst Contact: Paul Anderson (651) 458-6494 Alpha IR Group (651) 769-6700 Media Contact: Gary Hanson (602) 286-1777

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