Rangel Enjoys Sweet Deal on 4 Harlem Apartments

Dem faces questions over big savings on rent
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2008 2:35 AM CDT
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Nov. 9, 2007.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A powerful Democratic lawmaker is getting a sweet deal on four Harlem apartments, the New York Times reports. Charles Rangel has four rent-stabilized apartments, whose rents are controlled by city law. Three of the apartments are combined into one luxury unit, and the fourth is used as an office—despite the requirement that such apartments be used as a primary residence.

Rangel pays approximately half the market rate for the apartments in a building known as Harlem's most prestigious address. Ethics experts are wondering if the big savings on rent constitute a regulation-busting gift, and if the perk is making Rangel more considerate of his landlord than his apartment-squeezed constituents. Rangel, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, declined to comment. "Why should I help you embarrass me?" he snapped before hanging up on a reporter.