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Know Your Rights
Source: Daily News
Subject: Housing & Environmental Justice
Type: Media Coverage

Brooklyn Borough president, tenants plan sleep-in protest at Cuomo’s office over rent laws

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and tenant advocates plan to sleep outside Gov. Cuomo’s Manhattan office Wednesday night to protest Albany’s failure to renew rent regulation laws.

The laws that keep rents down at a million city apartments lapsed at midnight Tuesday after the state’s Assembly and Senate failed to reach an agreement to extend them.

Adams said he and dozens of tenants and activists will unfurl tents and sleeping bags outside Cuomo’s Third Ave. office at 10:30 p.m. and spend the night on the sidewalk in a sleep-in to broadcast their anger.

“We are saying to over 1 million rent stabilized units, ‘You are not our priority,'” he said of the state’s actions.

Cuomo and Assembly Democrats want to strengthen rent regulations, ending rules that let apartments out of stabilization when the rent hits $2,500 and a tenant leaves.

Senate Republicans prefer an eight-year extension with more protections for landlords. They also refused to pass a two-day extension to prevent the laws from expiring.

“Leave your couch in your living room to fight for this — so your couch won’t be on the sidewalk in the future,” Adams said outside Brooklyn Borough Hall, warning of thousands of tenants being forced out of their apartments if the laws remain expired.

Leroy Johnson, 52, of Flatbush, said it was Cuomo’s responsibility to push through new laws. “Gov. Cuomo, it’s a shame on you. You can do something. Get something done!” he said.

Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn), who has a history of provocative comments, went further, comparing the situation to the mass removal of Native Americans from their land.

“This is our modern day Trail of Tears,” she said. “This is an assault against humanity.”

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