While aggressive evictions are reducing the number of rent-stabilized apartments in New York, Representative Charles B. Rangel is enjoying four of them, including three adjacent units on the 16th floor overlooking Upper Manhattan in a building owned by one of New York’s premier real estate developers.
Mr. Rangel, the powerful Democrat who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, uses his fourth apartment, six floors below, as a campaign office, despite state and city regulations that require rent-stabilized apartments to be used as a primary residence.
What does not look good may just be — not good.
[Rangel] paid a total rent of $3,894 monthly in 2007 for the four apartments at Lenox Terrace, a 1,700-unit luxury development of six towers, with doormen, that is described in real estate publications as Harlem’s most prestigious address.
The current market-rate rent for similar apartments in Mr. Rangel’s building would total $7,465 to $8,125 a month, according to the Web site of the owner, the Olnick Organization.
It’s hard to say how the Times figures this. Here are average prices at Lenox Terrace:
Studio $1,300 to $1505
1 Bed $1,700 to $1,865 (no terrace)
1 Bed $1,865 to $2005
2 Beds $2,600 to $2750
3 Beds NONE
So Rangel’s getting luxury apartments for $973.50 per. Sa-weeeet. And how about that Charlie, as ever so charmingly irascible:
Mr. Rangel, 78, declined to answer questions during a telephone interview, saying that his housing was a private matter that did not affect his representation of his constituents.
“Why should I help you embarrass me?” he said, before abruptly hanging up.
Well, ya know, it kinda does affect one’s representation. And unless Mr. Rangel is coated with teflon, this story could hurt. Bad.