As Rent Control Expires, Tenant Advocates Point Finger At Cuomo
Rent control laws for New York City and the surrounding areas expired at midnight after state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo failed to reach a deal on either a long-term extension or a short-term stop-gap measure.
Cuomo last night in a statement said this would not create an emergency for those who live in rent-controlled units.
But tenant advocates are pushing him to do more, especially when it comes to getting Senate Republicans to adopt stronger protections.
A robocall from the Metropolitan Council on Housing — which was targeted at 50,000 residents in rent-controlled apartments in New York City, Mount Vernon and Yonkers — called on Cuomo to “stand up to the Senate Republicans” on the rent issue.
“We will not be strong-armed by legislators saying there isn’t enough time when we have been calling for changes to these broken rent regulations for years. A simple extension of the rent laws is unacceptable,” said Ava Farkas, Executive Director of Metropolitan Council on Housing, which released the robocall. “As they stand, current regulations do not protect tenants from landlord harassment and we are losing thousands of regulated apartments every year. We need to do better — we need full repeal of vacancy decontrol.”
The Alliance for Tenant Power’s Katie Goldstein in a separate statement said Cuomo can’t use the Legislature as a foil — specifically the Senate Republicans — in this instance.
“Cuomo should stop pointing his finger and admit that he is the one who created this political moment and killed the rent laws tonight. With good reason, millions of New Yorkers blame Cuomo for his failure to deliver on his commitment to strengthen the rent laws. His legacy as Governor has been tainted beyond repair,” Goldstein said. “He is not a reformer or a leader. He is someone who exploits Albany’s culture of corruption and perpetuates it. Cuomo will forever be known as Governor Glenwood and Governor 1% who raised the rent while his landlord lobbyist friends and his real-estate donors laughed all the way to the bank.”
Cuomo at the very least wants a modification of vacancy decontrol, which Assembly Democrats want to discard completely.
Senate Republicans last night managed the votes for an eight-year extension of rent control, which would require income and residency verification.
Even before the vote, Assembly Democrats rejected the Senate bill and approved a two-day extension for the laws.
Rent control has briefly lapsed before and has had little to no impact on renters (State officials are warning landlords not to take advantage of the lapsed laws).
And Cuomo is using both the rent control issue and the education tax credit bill as leverage over Senate Republicans and Assembly Democrats respectively.
The governor is linking stronger rent protections to the passage of the tax credit, which is opposed by the state’s teachers unions.
Cuomo in his own statement last night reiterated his pledge to keep lawmakers in Albany beyond Wednesday, when the legislative session is scheduled to end for the year.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on June 16, 2015 at 8:32 am, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|