I am tremendously disappointed that New York State's Fiscal Year 2011-12 Enacted Budget did not include renewal and strengthening of our rent regulation system. I am continuing to work with my progressive colleagues in the State Senate and leaders in the tenants rights movement to ensure both the renewal of the Emergency Tenant Protection Act before it expires on June 15 of this year and the expansion of tenant protections.
I am a co-sponsor of an omnibus tenant protection bill (S.2783-A/ Espaillat), which, among other provisions, would:
- Renew the rent control and rent stabilization laws
- Repeal vacancy destabilization and re-regulate most of the apartments that have been lost through this loophole in the last two decades
- Allow New York City and suburban municipalities to bring former Mitchell-Lama and Section 8 buildings under rent stabilization
- Reduce the statutory vacancy bonus from 20% to 10%
- Reform the preferential rent loophole that enables landlords to increase stabilized rents by hundreds of dollars when tenants renew their leases
- Reform the provision that allows landlords to empty entire buildings by claiming they need more than one unit for themselves or their family members
- Reform the Major Capital Improvement (MCI) program by making rent surcharges end when the landlord has recovered the cost of the improvement
- Reform the Individual Apartment Improvement (IAI) program by reducing the monthly rent increase from 1/40th to 1/60th of the cost of the improvement
- Repeal the Urstadt Law which will restore home rule powers over rent and eviction legislation to the City of New York
Rent regulation protections are urgently needed to preserve our precious housing stock. I will continue to fight in the Senate to make sure our rent regulations are renewed and strengthened before the end of this year's Legislative Session.