Albany, NY – Senator Gustavo Rivera (D, WF-Bronx) voted to extend rent regulation as part of a larger omnibus bill, S.5856, which passed 57 to 5. Senator Rivera issued the following statement regarding his decision to vote in the affirmative on S. 5856:
“I have said time and time again that ensuring we pass stronger rent laws is my top priority. With almost 72,000 rent regulated units in my district - the second most of any Senate district - I know what is at stake. I live in a rent-regulated unit in Kingsbridge Heights in the Northwest Bronx.
I am disappointed that the bill we voted on tonight did not do more to strengthen rent laws and protect tenants. I am disappointed that the State Senate and especially the upstate Republican members who have little to no rent regulated units in their districts have failed to understand the importance of ending incentives for bad landlords to force tenants out of rent regulated units in order to rent them at market price. The bill I wish we were voting on would end that practice of vacancy decontrol and give us laws that protect rent regulation for the long-term in New York City.
However, I cannot allow rent regulation to expire. I voted yes on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Bronxites in my district that would be in danger of losing their homes if these laws are not maintained. For that reason, I voted in the affirmative to extend and slightly strengthen rent regulation laws.
I am heartened by the fact that we will have another opportunity to debate rent regulation laws when they expire in four years. I will work tirelessly between now and then to ensure that when rent regulation laws are up for renewal that we will be able to come up with a bill that will end vacancy decontrol and strengthen tenant protections.”