Rich Bamberger
Rich Bamberger

Kivvit is representing the Alliance for Rental Excellence NY, a group backed by landlords and business owners, that seeks to thwart an overhaul of rent regulations in the Empire State.

The PA firm has close ties with Governor Andrew Cuomo, who counts the real estate sector as a top campaign donor.

Kivvit's Rich Bamberger was Cuomo's communications director and Maggie Moran advised the then NY Attorney General during his successful 2010 run for Governor.

The Alliance maintains that it wants "responsible rent reform," according to a statement released by Kivvit.

It reads: "The Alliance for Rental Excellence is fighting on behalf of New Yorkers who work hard every day to build and maintain our city’s apartments. We can all agree responsible rent reform is good for New York, but we can’t afford to put tens of thousands of hard-working people out of their jobs.”

The Alliance's website features pictures of plumbers, electricians and other contractors protesting at rent reform hearings, holding signs saying "Protect Tenants and Contractors," "Keep Us Employed," "I Need My Job," and "Protect MCIs."

The Gothamist reports that MCIs (major capital improvements) allow landlords to put "permanent rent increases in place to recoup the cost of renovations, but which housing activists have criticized as being a tool to push out rent-regulated tenants."

Housing advocates have asked Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to keep Cuomo out of the rent reform process.