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Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Housing & Environmental Justice
Type: Pubs & Reports

Protecting Immigrant Homes: The Importance of Strengthening and Expanding Tenant Protections for Immigrant New Yorkers.

Download report HERE.

Executive Summary

New Yorkers face a staggering affordable housing crisis. Rents have skyrocketed, and displacement is rampant. More than five million renters have no basic protections from eviction without cause. And those who have certain protections, because they live in rent-regulated households, face landlords who frequently harass them and exploit loopholes to displace them, leaving families at risk. As a result, every year New York loses thousands of units of rent-regulated housing.

This report lays out how this well-documented crisis affects immigrants. More than two million immigrants have no basic tenant protections. Across the state, immigrants are more likely to face rent burdens and overcrowding. As data and testimonies in this report reveal, this pattern holds not just in New York City, but in the downstate suburbs and in the rest of the state. At least 80 percent of low-income immigrant-headed households are rent-burdened in each geography.

Immigrant New Yorkers are also particularly at risk given the threats to rent-regulated housing. Forty-seven percent of all rent-regulated housing in New York City is occupied by immigrant-headed households (one million tenants in 394,000 households). Landlords’ exploitation of the vacancy bonus and preferential rent loopholes leaves immigrant families in grave jeopardy.

The report concludes with clear policy recommendations:

First, New York must expand renters’ rights to cover the whole state. It must do so by:

  • Passing “good cause” eviction legislation to bring renters’ rights to tenants in smaller buildings and in manufactured home communities;
  • Removing geographic restrictions in the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA); and
  • Ending vacancy decontrol (S2591/A1198).

Second, New York must end rent hikes and tenant harassment caused by loopholes in rent stabilization. It must do so by:

  • Making preferential rents last for the duration of the tenancy (S2845/A6285-18);
  • Eliminating the vacancy bonus (S185/A2351); and
  • Eliminating permanent rent hikes caused by major capital improvements and individual apartment increases.

Download report HERE.