The deal that is reportedly being considered by both houses is a major disappointment that is not real reform, and does not do nearly enough to strengthen rent laws or protect tenants. We believe that a far better outcome could have been achieved.
That said, this is the first time since the creation of vacancy destabilization that rent laws have been renewed without additional weakening amendments. This is due to the strong organizing efforts by the members of the R3 coalition and the many tenants who came to Albany to make their voice heard.
The $500 increase to the Vacancy Destabilization threshold does not even come close to levels needed to account for inflation since 1993 (when Vacancy Destabilization was first created) and will have little impact on the long-term erosion of affordable housing. In addition, we are extremely disappointed that the final deal does not include needed reforms to the Major Capital Improvement provision, it does not change the vacancy bonus, nor does it extend rent protections to families living in Mitchell-Lama and Section 8 housing. Without these needed reforms, mass destabilizations will continue to occur.
Throughout this campaign, the Real Rent Reform Campaign has focused on the need for meaningful strengthening of rent regulations to protect renting families and preserve affordable housing in New York City and the surrounding suburbs. We thank the strong and vocal legislative allies in both houses of the Legislature who stood united with us in this effort. While we are disappointed in the outcome, we will never stop fighting for the repeal of vacancy destabilization and we will continue to work with our allies in the ongoing struggle for stronger rent laws.