R3 Letter to Governor Cuomo
June 17, 2015
Governor Andrew Cuomo
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Governor Cuomo –
For months, tenants have been reaching out to urge you to stand strong for affordable housing by using your considerable political power to fight for stronger rent laws.
Over that time, you have repeatedly changed your position, from saying that a straight extender was sufficient, to calling for a laughable $200 increase in the threshold for the failed policy of vacancy decontrol, to finally calling for the elimination of vacancy decontrol on the pages of the Daily News, to breaking that pledge by saying that you did not have enough time to do your job.
Now the rent laws have expired, yet by all accounts you still refuse to fight for the policy you stated you believe is right. This is putting over a million families at risk of poverty and/or homelessness, and threatens to permanently cripple the economy of New York City and the downstate suburbs.
With so much on the line, we write to ask that you meet with tenants and representatives of tenant organizations this week to discuss this crisis, which was wholly created by Albany corruption and inaction. We will meet with you in Albany or New York City, at whatever time is suitable.
You have not met with tenants since 2011, yet we know from published reports that you have met with the real estate lobby multiple times over those four years, while collecting millions of dollars in real-estate linked campaign contributions.
With real estate money at the center of two of Albany’s biggest corruption scandals, we think it is vital that you meet with tenants to explain where you stand, why we should believe that this money has not influenced you, and how you will use your position to protect our homes.
We look forward to your reply.
Ava Farkas, on behalf of R3