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Know Your Rights
Source: Legislative Gazette
Subject: Housing & Environmental Justice
Type: Media Coverage

Advocates seek stronger tenant protections

State senators are joining tenant advocates in seeking the passage of stronger
rent laws, similar to reforms recently passed by the Assembly, before the
legislative session ends this year.

At an event today sponsored by
Housing Here and Now, **Real Rent Reform, the Association for Housing and
Neighborhood Development and the Working Families Party, several senators spoke
to a large audience of tenant advocates, pledging their support and promising
success in this year’s session.

Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers,
is sponsoring one of the prime bills (S.2237) advocates want passed, which would
repeal vacancy decontrol and prohibit landlords from raising rents, under
certain circumstances, when a tenant moves out. “[Affordable housing] made the
difference in my life,” she said. “I stand before you today understanding
affordable housing is the prime reason why people are able to succeed.”

Many senators said they are confident these bills will pass, thanks to the new
Democratic majority in the Senate. “For 40 years, for some reason people thought
it was fashionable to take away protections for tenants and allow our housing
stock to deteriorate,” said Sen. Tom Duane, D-Manhattan. “But now my team is in
charge, and we are going to win.”

Supporters are looking to pass
legislation which, similar to the Assembly package, would strengthen rent laws
through such reforms as repealing vacancy decontrol, increasing protections for
Mitchell-Lama and Section 8 subsidized housing tenants, instituting an 18-month
moratorium on Mitchell-Lama buyouts and restoring New York City’s regulatory
authority over rent control by removing provisions that transferred this power
from New York City to the state.

**Make the Road NY is an active member of the R3 (Real Rent Reform) Campaign.