Hempstead, Long Island: David L.

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Dear Governor Cuomo,

My name is David Lofton and I live in Hempstead, NY in a “rent-controlled” building. I have lived in my apartment for 5 years, and even though my building was supposed to have a $0 increase for this year, the landlord is increasing the rent anyway.

A lot of people don't know the law, so people feel the need to either pay it or move. After a year or two, people end up moving out because they can’t afford to stay in the building. During the last 5 years I must have had a thousand problems, including the fact that my landlord has been trying to push me out of my apartment.

For the 5 years that I've lived here, I have paid my rent a week in advance, but every month I get a late notice regardless. My landlord is constantly harassing me, trying to push me out and raise my rent. I pay exactly $1,200 a month but he is trying to raise it to over $2,000.

I'm on a rent freeze, just like some of the people in the building who signed the petition we did in 2014. Whenever I see my landlord do anything illegal I write it up, just as I know he would do with me. I write it up and follow with the DHCR and let them know.

But so many people in my building are afraid to step up, everybody wants to sit back and hide, they don't want to fight for themselves, they don't want to speak up.

The State of New York and you, Governor Cuomo, are not doing anything to help us out at this time. I’ve lost a lot of sleep because of all the notices that my landlord sends me every time. My wife and I are retired –– I’m not sure we would be able to afford moving. Most of our salaries go to rent alone, we should have something to show for our money, and the only thing we ask for our money is a safe, decent, clean place to live.

Governor Cuomo, you need to sit back and look what we are going through. You need to see how the majority of the people who voted for you are living. We need real regulations that can support tenants from predatory landlords.

Most of us have to work two to three jobs to afford to put a roof over our head. This situation is not fair for anyone. You need to do a better job for us, Governor: invest in code enforcement and housing quality in New York State’s 2018 budget.

 Sincerely,

David Lofton
The Village of Hempstead in Long Island, New York