Representative Charles Rangel isn't so happy with the New York Times: The Gray Lady revealed the high-ranking Congressman has four rent-stabilized apartments at Lenox Terrace, the Harlem development where Governor David Paterson also lives (Paterson only has one rent-stabilized apartment, though).
The NY Times reports three of the apartments were combined to make one 2,500 square foot apartment on the 16th floor, while a fourth apartment serves as his campaign office "despite state and city regulations that require rent-stabilized apartments to be used as a primary residence." The Times points out most building owners and landlords, including the owners of Lenox Terrace, the Olnick Organization, would like to get rid of rent-stabilized apartments: "Yet Mr. Rangel, a critic of other landlords’ callousness, has been uncharacteristically reticent about Olnick’s actions."
The Times breaks down Rangel's apartment costs this way:
Residence, units 16M, 16N, 16P:
Two-bedroom apartment: Rangel pays $1,329; market-rate rent is $2,600 to $2,750Office, unit 10U:
One-bedroom apartment: Rangel pays $1,329; market-rate rent is $1,865 to $2,005
Studio: Rangel pays $606; market-rate rent is $1,300
Combined monthly cost: Rangel pays $3,264; market-rate rate would be at least $5,765
One-bedroom apartment: Rangel pays $630, half of which is paid by his Congressional re-election fund; market-rate rent is $1,700 to $2,005
When asked about his real estate situation, Rangel told the Times, “Why should I help you embarrass me?” and hung up on the reporter. There are also questions about how Rangel got four apartments and whether the fact that they are rent-stabilized would constitute a "gift" by the government, because Congressional members cannot accept gifts over $100.
Previously, the Times looked at what vehicles area Congressional members ride in and Rangel said of his Cadillac deVille, "I want them to feel that they are somebody and their congressman is somebody. And when they say, ‘This is nice,’ it feels good."