The story of Bianca Jagger's eviction from her rent-stabilized Park Avenue apartment has swept the city like a Southern California wildfire. Every media outlet or commentator that covers the topic all echo the same reaction: How in the hell did a wealthy person like Bianca Jagger hold on to a rent stabilized apartment on Park Avenue for two decades? The horror! The outrage! In fact, the Sun today ran a scathing op-ed on the topic, writing: "Ms. Jagger's case underscores the way that the price controls on rent benefit a lucky and privileged few at the expense of ordinary New Yorkers." Really? We tend to disagree.
Bianca eventually got busted for listing a British residence as her primary address, as well as being in America on a temporary visa. So clearly, she wasn't going out of her way to try and hide the fact that she shouldn't technically be allowed to have a rent-stabilized apartment. She was pulling a pretty sweet scam, and she stuck with it for as long as she could. No harm no foul, and here's the thing: We all would have done the exact same thing. Lucking into a rent-stabilized Park Avenue apartment is like winning the lottery, without having all those crazy problems that lottery winners all wind up with for some reason. If suddenly you could afford the market-rate rent, would you want to give up the stabilized rate? Hell no! It's the New York real estate dream come true. The system is one giant corrupt game, and we all look for ways to take advantage. Kudos to ol' Bianca for holding on to her place for so long.
As for the Sun's charge that Jagger's beneficial situation was coming at the expense of ordinary New Yorkers, c'mon now. The apartment will now be a market-rate rental, the price will be extraordinarily high, and some rich financier will move in. It's not like she was stealing affordable housing from the poor and needy. After all, she was paying a stabilized rent of $4,600/month, lest we forget. Bianca, forget the haters: you go, girl!
· Bianca Jagger's Rent [Sun]
· Bianca: Gimme Shelter [NYP]