Pity the Landlord | Charlie Dulik

From The Baffler:

Eccles’s widespread media presence is no accident. In 2019, he became one of the public faces of Responsible Rent Reform—a faux-grassroots group backed by the Rent Stabilization Association (RSA), the largest landlord organization in the state—which has set about weaponizing the stories of a dozen “mom-and-pop” landlords to undermine rent regulations. Eccles, in other words, is not an everyman plucked by the papers by chance; for years, he has been part of a landlord lobby that has become increasingly organized in response to tenant protections passed by the New York State legislature in 2019 and to the economic precarity of the pandemic. His social justice-inflected grievances are the bleeding edge of a revanchist development in New York housing debates: landlords, especially the smaller ones, have begun repurposing the identitarian language of systemic oppression in a relentless public campaign against rent regulation and eviction protections.And they’ve been successful: for four straight years, tenant-backed bills have failed to reach a floor vote in the state legislature; the state’s pandemic era eviction moratorium was abruptly scuttled; landlord groups have launched bold new campaigns to circumvent rent regulations. The president of the RSA, the largest of the state’s landlord organizations, has called the effort “one of the most robust public relations campaigns in the history of [the New York real estate] industry.”

Source: Pity the Landlord | Charlie Dulik