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Rent Control for New York City Could Spillover Effect to the Rest of the State

The housing crisis isn't the same in every corner of New York State, but new rent control measures in the state legislature could apply solutions intended for the New York City rental market to the entire state.
May 25, 2019, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Laurence Nozik

Tom Precious reports on concern that the state of New York is applying a city of New York solution when it comes to rent control.

"New York City’s rent control and stabilization system – affecting about 1 million units all together – expires next month. With Democrats now in firm control of both legislative houses at the State Capitol, momentum is growing to amend existing laws to make them far less friendly to landlords, who had great sway in the Senate when Republicans dominated the chamber," according to Precious.

The number of people suffering under the weight of the housing affordability crisis in New York City is pushing the State Legislature to move swiftly on the issue of rent control, but two measures could have significant impacts beyond the city as well, according to Precious.

"The main one would expand the Emergency Tenant Protection Act beyond New York City to all areas of the state. But there are limits to the idea. First, it only covers buildings that have six or more units and that were built prior to 1974," according to Precious.

"Another bill that has raised a major stir among landlord groups calls for the creation of a “good-cause” eviction standard. Backers say it would give tenants in buildings with four or more units – statewide and without any local government opt-in provision – new protections against landlords who evict people without cause, such as a failure to pay rent. It also would ban rent hikes above a certain level based on a local consumer price index. Critics say it would permit a tenant to stay in an apartment beyond the expiration date of a lease no matter what the landlord wants."

Representatives of communities in upstate New York say the provisions of the Emergency Tenant Protection Act especially would deter new development outside of New York City. The imperative for rent control isn't the same outside of New York City, they say.

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Published on Monday, May 20, 2019 in The Buffalo News
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