Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Repeal MCI Program

Two Queens lawmakers, State Senator Mike Gianaris and Assemblyman Brian Barnwell, recently introduced a bill in their respective chambers that would repeal the Major Capital Improvements (MCI) program and instead provide building owners with tax credits to offset the costs of upgrades. The MCI program, which was implemented in the 1970s, currently allows owners of rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartments to pass on the cost of building improvements to tenants by raising the rent. Owners who improve buildings with upgrades such as new windows, boilers, and roofs can increase rents by as much as 6 percent annually to recoup the costs.

The rent increases from the MCI program are permanent. Gianaris and Barnwell’s bill would require landlords to repeal existing MCI rent increases upon receiving a petition from a tenant and block future MCI rent increases. If passed, the DHCR would be the agency put in charge of approving a landlord’s tax credit to make sure capital improvements are made.