Dilan Works To Get “Loft Law” Passed In Senate


Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Bushwick, East New York, Ocean Hill/Brownsville), the Loft Law Clean-Up Bill passed the assembly yesterday, and is now awaiting a vote in the Senate.

Sen. Martin Dilan

The legislation that Dilan sponsored is an amendment that provides for several large-scale changes to Article 7-C of the Multiple Dwelling Law.

Also known as the “Loft Law,” the new measure is composed of five major reforms: reopening an application for coverage without a sunset date; revoking exclusions based on a tenant’s neighbors’ actions; revoking the exclusion of basement spaces; expanding the window of eligibility, during which property owners can work to ensure that their units comply with loft regulations; and revoking the exclusionary “window requirement” that mandates that protected loft units must have at least one window facing a street or courtyard.

The new bill was created to repeal the changes to 2010’s Expanded Loft Law (which Dilan also sponsored), introduced by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg. That bill included changes that created obstructions that excluded certain loft tenants from the certain protections, such as protection from eviction and mandated rent stabilization.

Advocates of the measure include, the NYC Loft Tenants, who believe the new bill will give thousands of loft tenants necessary legal protections.

A recent rally to pass the Loft Law.

“If this bill fails to pass, thousands of New Yorkers will lose their homes this year and in the future,” said Robb Godshaw, on behalf of NYC Loft Tenants.

Assemblymember Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan) added that the exclusions introduced in 2010 are exacerbating the city’s existing affordable housing crisis.

“Excluding individuals from the legalization process not only bans health and safety by encouraging tenants and landlords to remain hidden in illegal units, but is detrimental to the already-scarce stock of affordable housing in New York City,” said Glick.

Though he’s pleased about his recent accomplishment, Dilan maintained that he and the NYC Loft Tenants have an uphill battle ahead, claiming that they’ll have to fight the Senate’s attempts to gut the Loft Bill.

Dilan also made sure to debunk common misconceptions about the Loft Law, particularly that it will enable loft tenants to live “rent free” or withhold rent whenever they want.

“Loft tenants aren’t living rent free,” said Dilan. “If they are, they are on strike, not squatting. To comply with building codes, tenants and owners have agreed to share the cost of legally converting lofts. This share can’t force people out, that’s what we agreed to in the Loft Law. If tenants are withholding rent, it’s for good reason. The owner isn’t honoring the agreement.”

As of now, the Senate has yet to schedule a date for voting on the Clean-Up Bill.