Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a video message on rent regulation today and although he states firmly that he supports “strengthening” the rent laws, it isn’t clear exactly what policy action he wants. Cuomo has said for months that he wants to strengthen rent laws without telling legislators specifically how he would prefer to see them strengthened.
“In New York, more than 1 million people are protected by New York’s rent regulation program. However, this program is set to expire June 15, less than 5 weeks from now. That would be a crisis for our state. In fact, what we need to extend and strengthen our rent regulation laws, and we need to do it now.”
Senate Republicans seem in no rush to renew rent laws. They are busy debating bills about Christmas trees in mid May.
Tenant advocates are relying on Cuomo’s leadership to force the issue through the Republican controlled Senate where it seems the majority would rather weaken the rent laws than simply renew them. Advocates would like Cuomo to get specific.
“Its good that he is out there talking about loss of units but there is no substitute for total repeal of vacancy deregulation and he hasnt quite said that he supports that,” said Michael McKee treasurer of Tenants PAC. “Only one person can change the script here and that is Andrew Cuomo. There is no way forward in the Senate without him.”
Tenant advocates will be hitting Albany on Tuesday of next week to get their message across. They also plan a moving tent city from Brooklyn to Albany in June.
Here is the text from Cuomo’s statement:
Before I was Governor Cuomo, I was Secretary Cuomo.
I worked as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in Washington under the Clinton administration, in that position I was the head of housing for our nation.
There’s no doubt that affordable housing is the building block of strong communities and a strong economy.
But for too many New Yorkers, affordable housing is just out of reach.
In New York, more than 1 million people are protected by New York’s rent regulation program.
However, this program is set to expire June 15, less than 5 weeks from now.
That would be a crisis for our state.
In fact, what we need to extend and strengthen our rent regulation laws, and we need to do it now.
Since 1994, over 238,000 apartments have been removed from rent regulation leaving middle class New Yorkers with fewer affordable options.
And by current standards it is estimated that over 130,000 more apartments could be lost to decontrol in the next few years.
Having affordable housing works for all New Yorkers – a strong middle class is the vital core of our economy and community.
As New Yorkers we need to work together to protect the quality of life for all our people and we need our state legislature to act.
We have recently made great progress in Albany by passing a good budget and passing it on time; and this state legislature- the 234th legislative session- has the opportunity to do even more and produce a record of real achievement for the people of this state: addressing New York’s rent laws is an important part of that agenda.
Please contact your state legislators and urge them to extend and strengthen our state’s rent laws.
And let’s make New York the Empire State once again.
Thank you for listening.By David King on May 17, 2011, 11:41 am
In category: Albany, Eye on Albany | No Comments »