Earlier this week, the Westchester Rent Guidelines Board voted against the proposal to increases rents on regulated apartments where tenants have one- and two-year leases. As a consistent and persistent advocate for tenants, I have worked with hundreds of constituents on housing issues, sponsored and attended community forums on tenants' rights, introduced major tenant protection legislation in the Senate, and, most recently, provided testimony to the Westchester Rent Guidelines Board urging them to avoid rent increases in Westchester County in 2010-11. I applaud the Board for this decision, which comes as a welcome relief to the individuals and families living in the approximately 30,000 rental units who faced the possibility of being priced out of their homes.
During these difficult economic times, working families and seniors that continue to struggle to make ends meet cannot afford the additional financial burden that increased housing costs would create. For the second time in more than three decades, the Board made the decision to keep rents at the same level as the previous year, and I urge them to remain steadfast in their resolve to ensure that, especially now, affordable housing remains affordable.