As rent stabilization comes up for renewal in Albany next year, the city is gearing up to fight for reforms that aim to protect the city’s stock of rent-regulated apartments.
New York City is in a housing emergency — and it remains that way, prompting Mayor de Blasio last Wednesday to sign legislation that will extend rent regulation laws for three years, through April 1, 2021. As rent regulation comes up for renewal in Albany next year, the city is gearing up to fight for reforms that aim to protect the city’s stock of rent-stabilized apartments.
“Reforming our state’s rent laws is a top priority,” said Mayor de Blasio. “As we continue to invest to produce historic levels of affordable apartments housing, we must also protect New York tenants from illegal harassment by landlords looking to push them out to charge higher, but illegal, rent. The status quo is unacceptable.”
The rent stabilization law is based on the 2017 Housing and Vacancy Survey (NYCHVS), which shows a 3.63 percent vacancy rate; a vacancy rate below 5 percent allows the state rent regulation laws to continue to be effective in New York City. Conducted roughly every three years since 1965, the survey is used to measure the rental vacancy rate and housing stock for the five boroughs of New York City.
The city now calls for various reforms which include the elimination of the 20 percent increase in monthly rent when tenants vacate an apartment, a law which created incentives for landlords to pressure tenants out of their homes in the hopes of faster-rising rents. Another much-needed reform, according to the de Blasio administration, is to create limits for how landlords can use permanent rent increases for building-wide or individual apartments; these increases are often utilized as a mechanism for driving up legal rents to reach the threshold for rent deregulation.
“The NYCHVS data demonstrates a clear need for the continuation of rent regulation here in New York City,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., chair of the Council Committee on Housing and Buildings. “This will ensure the policies we have implemented over the past four years continue to have a positive impact on the city’s housing stock and will help us to further additional policies aimed at addressing the housing shortage facing the seniors and families who call this city home.”