Democrats and the Lost Opportunity for Affordable Housing

Ruben Diaz

April 12, 2011

For Immediate Release
April 11, 2011
Democrats and the Lost Opportunity for Affordable Housing

New York State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz (D-Bronx) released the following statement:

“As the June 15th rent stabilization deadline approaches, I remain deeply concerned for the well-being of 2.5 million New Yorkers and their families who voted for Democrats to take control.  They elected us so that we would not let the opportunity to protect their right to affordable housing slip through their hands.

Democrats missed the chance to force a vote on rent control during Budget negotiations.  Democrats especially Black and Hispanic legislators should never have agreed on the Budget until the issue of rent control and stabilization was determined.  If affordable housing were addressed during that great race to beat the clock, New Yorkers would have won.

Unfortunately, the opportunity for Democrats to do something about rent control has passed.

I have no delusions that the Senate Republicans will ever compromise on rent control or even bring this to the table for a vote this Session.  In their defense, I must wonder, why should they?  Since they are in the majority, why should they capitulate?

Governor Andrew Cuomo, (who actually served as HUD Secretary) met today to discuss rent control and stabilization laws with Senate Majority Leader John Sampson, Senator Adriano Espaillat (who serves as the Top Democrats on the Senate Housing Committee) and Senator Liz Krueger (who has championed this cause more than any other Senator prior to the Early Budget vote).

 The issue of rent control has been cast aside until sometime – perhaps in May – after our Senate 2-week vacation from Albany.  We know that if these laws are not in place by June 15th, they will sunset, expire, and be nearly impossible to resurrect.