I wanted to share the news that Justice Lowe today signed the final settlement in the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer case. This is a historic moment for the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village community, and for all rent stabilized residents who were unfairly overcharged by landlords receiving J-51 tax abatements across the City.
This case has always been about protecting the integrity of the rent stabilization system. The victory in Roberts sends a clear message that the rent stabilization law cannot and will not be circumvented. It is fitting that the case originated in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, a community ravaged by the excesses of the housing boom that fought back. The impact of this case has been felt far and wide—from the 21,250 members of the class, of which I am one, to residents in all J-51 buildings citywide. It was through the persistence and courage of our neighbors that many tenants around the City have been able to clarify their rights under the law, and for that, I am extremely proud.
The settlement delivers $68.75 million in direct payments to tenants who were overcharged for rent between January 22, 2003 and December 31, 2011 and $105 million in rent savings during the time since the Roberts case was won, when rents were rolled back as part of an "interim agreement." It also re-establishes all of the units in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village as rent stabilized, and sets their legal rents. (For more detail on the settlement, read my plain language guide to the settlement here
It is our hope that the final settlement, to which there were no objectors, will present a new opportunity for CW Capital to now embrace the plan put forth by the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association to ensure the long term affordability and stability in our neighborhood.
I want to thank the attorneys at Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz and Bernstein Liebhard who worked on this case for their persistence, advocacy and hard work, and the tenants who lent their names to this class action lawsuit for their courage.
I encourage all class members to file their claims by the May 15 deadline. For more information on the claims process, please visit Berdon Claims' website at www.berdonclaims.com or call 800-766-3330.