Under weakened state law, affordable units are lost to the unfettered market when monthly rent hits $2,000 per month. The process, known as high rent / vacancy decontrol, has claimed more than 50,000 units in the past three years. Serrano and several Senate colleagues signed a pledge to repeal decontrol.
"We stand before you this evening not just talking about affordable housing, but ready to make it happen. Vacancy decontrol has put a giant bull's-eye on the city of New York. Every predatory investor from London to Dubai is looking to buy up our affordable housing stock and exploit the state's weak housing law," said the Senator.
"Neighborhoods that I represent in East Harlem and the Bronx have been hit particularly hard by powerful corporations and private equity firms looking to gamble on our homes. Well now is the time to flex the muscle of affordability," he said.
"This is more important than ever in a difficult economy. Repealing vacancy decontrol protects working families without busting the state budget. It's one of the most important steps we can take to relieve the housing crisis."
The rally was sponsored by Housing Here and Now, a broad coalition of affordable housing advocates and organizing groups. Several member organizations working in the 28th Senate District were on hand, including Community Voices Heard and CASA / New Settlement.