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Marcelo Rochabrun

Marcelo Rochabrun

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Marcelo Rochabrun is a reporting fellow with ProPublica. He recently graduated from Princeton University, where he studied history and flute performance. He was editor in chief of The Daily Princetonian and published an investigation on how Princeton’s “eating clubs” had benefited from millions of dollars in unwarranted tax subsidies to build and refurbish their lavish clubhouses through educational foundations set up exclusively to funnel tax-exempt monies.

He has also worked for the Center for Public Integrity covering money in politics and for IDL-Reporteros, a nonprofit investigative newsroom based in his native Peru, where he covered government corruption. A series he co-wrote for IDL-Reporteros on how Peru’s Department of Education purchased books for public school libraries led to the resignation of the president of the booksellers trade association and an official investigation into a former prime minister.

Articles

Two Decades Later, Democrats Say Giuliani Was Wrong About Rent Limits

Since 1995, developers in lower Manhattan have relied on a letter written by former Mayor Giuliani to justify receiving tax breaks without rent restrictions. Former lawmakers who wrote and voted for the law say the practice violates the intent and clear meaning of the statute.

How Rudy Giuliani Helped Landlords Get a Tax Break With No Strings Attached

New York’s state Legislature wanted to give developers hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to build apartments in Lower Manhattan in exchange for limits on rent increases. The real estate lobby and Mayor Rudy Giuliani had another idea.

Federal Government Finally Forgives Billions in Debt of Students Who’ve Become Disabled

The move comes after a ProPublica investigation that documented how the government was making it hard for disabled borrowers to get their loans forgiven.

Council Member Pushes Habitat for Humanity to Restore Homes to Displaced Families

ProPublica showed last week how the charity had used federal funds to acquire vacant buildings, but some had been occupied just days before the charity moved to acquire them.

How Habitat for Humanity Went to Brooklyn and Poor Families Lost Their Homes

The charity paid millions in federal stimulus funds to developers shortly after longtime tenants were pushed out. “We are spending federal money to throw low-income New Yorkers out of buildings,” wrote a Habitat whistleblower.

Brooklyn Officials Ask State to Investigate Rent Overcharges

A request to the Tenant Protection Unit cites ProPublica’s reporting on a tax-subsidized building owned by Two Trees Management.

3 Things Mayor de Blasio and AG Schneiderman Didn’t Say About Housing Enforcement

New York leaders have been quick to celebrate enforcement achievements to protect rent-stabilized units but haven’t put them in context.

Rent Limits Just a Fiction for Thousands of NYC Tenants, Records Disclose

Among other facts, newly released housing documents reveal that 239,000 regulated apartments have “preferential” rent, meaning landlords may be able to boost rents by more than what the city allows.

NY Lawmakers Want Stiffer Penalties for Landlords Who Ignore Rent Limits

A bill introduced in response to ProPublica’s reporting would make landlords liable for up to 10 times the amount of overcharges imposed on tenants in rent-stabilized apartments.

NYC Lets Luxury Building Owners Stiff Workers and Still Get a Tax Break

City regulators haven’t enforced a 2007 law that requires doormen, janitors and other service workers at taxpayer-subsidized apartment buildings to be paid wages comparable to union rates.

NYC Bill Targets Landlords Who Get Tax Breaks, Duck Rent Limits

City Council members propose inventory system and fines for landlords after ProPublica reports that 50,000 apartments aren’t registered for rent regulation as required.

Tenants Take the Hit as New York Fails to Police Huge Housing Tax Break

Top developer Two Trees Management overcharged renters for years – but still cashed in on $10 million in tax cuts the city never officially approved.

Landlords to Pay $5 Million for Dodging Rent Laws

State, city officials target buildings receiving lucrative property tax breaks in return for limiting rents.

Landlords Fail To List 50,000 N.Y.C. Apartments for Rent Limits

Owners are getting $100 million in property tax breaks while violating the law requiring them to officially register, and city and state officials are unable to explain why.

N.Y.C. Landlords Flout Rent Limits — But Still Rake In Lucrative Tax Breaks

Help ProPublica and WNYC investigate how renters are being exploited under a housing program that will save developers $1 billion in property taxes this year.

Exploding Gas Tanks, Defective Air Bags and Other Car-Company Scandals (MuckReads Weekly)

There’s a long history of car company scandals – and sluggish responses from regulators.

De Blasio’s Pre-K Program Adds 12,000 Kids, Only 195 Come from Poorest ZIP Codes

Experts say the poorest children are the ones who need pre-kindergarten the most.

Passing the Test

Is Mayor Bill de Blasio’s universal pre-K the best way to allocate education dollars?

Show Me a Hero: a Q&A With David Simon

“The Wire” creator and former Baltimore Sun reporter talks about a historic public housing fight, race and what makes white people go “batshit, batshit crazy.”

Hot Takes: The Top Climate Change Reporting of the Past Year

A compilation of some of the best journalism in the months leading up to Barack Obama’s historic action to address climate change.
Marcelo Rochabrun

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