Close to 150 activists [including members of Make the Road New York] are crowding the Capitol today in calling for the legislature to strengthen rent regulation laws.
The current rent laws are set to expire on June 15. A bill passed by the Assembly, which is dominated by downstate Democrats, would extend the current rent-stabilization laws for another five years.
It would also repeal vacancy decontrol, in which landlords charge monthly rents of at least $2,000 and remove the apartment from regulation. Other proposals include capping the amount that can be collected for a major capital improvement, re-regulating certain units that have been deregulated under vacancy decontrol since 2007, and cutting in half the percentage increase by which a landlord can raise the rent after a vacancy.
Activists from the Real Rent Reform Campaign, along with Rep. Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to put pressure on the Senate to pass the bill.
“We’ve been losing apartments, we’ve been evicted,” Rosenthal said. “Landlords have all the power. We are here to say we’re taking back the power.”
But Senate Republicans, who hold a slim majority in the chamber, are placing a higher priority on passing a property tax cap — an issue to which Cuomo has also thrown support.
"Today, with 12,600 dues-paying members, MRNY is a unique amalgam of worker center, legal clinic, citizenship school, mutual aid society, policy shop, protest factory and church. Its four offices in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island are an egalitarian oasis for members, who gather there for conversation and classes..."