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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Assembly passes Omnibus Rent Bill

The State Assembly's plan is to pass this bill on May 19, 2015. 

The Assembly Democrats introduced an omnibus bill renewing the state rent and coop laws and making numerous changes to both the state and NYC rent laws. The changes are pro-tenant, although some of the changes are not adequate.

A7526 is sponsored by Assembly Housing Committee chairman Keith Wright (D-Manhattan) and co-sponsored by numerous other Democratic Assembly Members. (See list at end of this memo.)

A7526 extends state rent control and the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974 for four years, to June 15, 2019. It also extends the NYC and three-county coop conversion laws to the same sunset.

2019 is the worst possible sunset year in terms of leverage. 2019 is after the next two legislative elections, and after the next gubernatorial election. Our friends in the Assembly are for some reason choosing to put tenants at a political disadvantage. This is unacceptable. Tenants should insist on a two-year extender, to 2017.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Photos from the May 14th Rally!

Met Council on Housing's blog "Activate" has a great article and good photos! 

Excerpt: 

Thousands of Tenants Rally to Strengthen New York's Rent Laws

By Mia McDonald | May 15, 2015

Yesterday, thousands of tenants, advocates, and elected officials gathered at Foley Square to demand stronger rent laws this June. Speakers included City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Tish James, City Council Member Jumaane Williams, Senator Adriano Espaillat, and Assembly Member Keith Wright, Dell Smitherman of 1199SEIU, and Delsenia Glover of Tenants & Neighbors, as well as representatives from CASA and Los Sures. Other elected officials in attendance were Assembly Members Brian Kavanagh, Dick Gottfried, Linda Rosenthal, and Mike Blake, Senators Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman, and City Council Members Corey Johnson, Carlos Menchaca, Helen Rosenthal, Antonio Reynoso, Dan Garodnick, and Mathieu Eugene. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thousands marched from Foley Square


Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Times (& NY Times) have changed - and support Real Rent Reform NOW

A Moment to Fix New York’s Housing Laws


What a rare opportunity New York has been given, now that the federal prosecutor Preet Bharara has delivered two ferocious kicks to the anthill of Albany, leaving politicians and deal makers dazed and blinking in the light.

The arrests of two of the three most powerful men in state government on corruption charges, former Speaker Sheldon Silver of the Assembly and Dean Skelos, the State Senate leader, creates an opening for the third, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to be a hero. He can push through reforms of state laws to give the poor and those of modest means — perennial losers in a game rigged for and by real-estate developers, landlords and self-dealing politicians — a better shot at being able to afford to live in New York City.


The reforms involve the state’s rent-stabilization law and an obsolete tax break for developers. Both expire on June 15, and reforming them is an important goal of tenants’ advocates and of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has made it his mission to preserve and expand the city’s endangered supply of affordable housing.



The advocates and the mayor want the Legislature to make big changes. These include eliminating a provision in the housing laws that removes vacated apartments from regulation once the rents hit a threshold of $2,500 a month, allowing them to float as high as the gentrification tides will take them. Advocates say this provision has led to the loss of more than 300,000 affordable apartments in the city. Other changes would eliminate landlords’ ability to automatically jack up rents 20 percent when apartments are vacated, and allow landlords to impose only temporary, not permanent, surcharges to pay for major apartment improvements.


Click here for the full editorial.