New York City's biggest owner of rent-stabilized apartments, private equity giant the Blackstone Group, says it is stopping improvements at the 11,000-unit housing complex it bought in 2015.

Blackstone said it is now re-evaluating what to do with the apartments at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in Manhattan's Lower East Side new rent regulation laws, Crain's New York Business reports.

While Blackstone plans to proceed with improvements required under law -- such as fixing leaks and hot water improvements -- improvements to the vacant apartments won't continue and large-scale construction improvements may also be stopped, a source told Crain's.

The new rent regulations, signed into law last month, have been met with a barrage of criticism from the real estate industry. The new legislation significantly reduces landlords' ability to increase rents and remove apartments from regulation. 

The vacancy bonus -- a provision that had allowed landlords to increase rents by as much as 20% when a unit became vacant -- has been cut. Landlords who rented a unit for less than they could legally charge are no longer able to raise rents to the full price when leases are renewed.

What a pointless battle! NYC should just streamline the building of affordable-rent (not luxury, or luxury with subsidized units sprinkled-in) market-rate apartments. More welfare is not what is needed to fix the market.

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