In a ‘What’s happening in Albany’ story, rent regulation laws and the 421-a tax abatement program are, incredibly, being held hostage by politics!
In other words at the New York State level we are witnessing a carbon copy of Washington politics, a place where the battling between Democrats and Republicans is done at the expense of ordinary citizens who are typically left to feel the pain and foot the bill.
For the most part in Washington large issues that resonate with constituents and that require votes be cast are often left until the last minute and then, some compromise between the parties is typically reached.
Will the same hold true in Albany on the issue of rent regulations?
Here is a summary of where things stand as of now…
‘Governor Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie are both casting blame on the Republican-led State Senate for preventing them from bolstering rent regulations.
During an event in Yonkers, Cuomo called rent regulations “the most explosive issue that the Legislature is dealing with.”
“If the rent regulations expire in New York City you’d have hundreds of thousands of tenants who theoretically could see their rents rise dramatically or who could potentially face eviction. So this has caused a lot of concern, as it should,” Cuomo, a Democrat, said at the event.
With rent regulation laws, along with the 421-a tax abatement program, due to expire Monday night, the Republican-controlled Senate introduced bills late Friday renewing both. The rent regulation bill appears to be more favorable to landlords than to tenant activists because it makes no changes to the process of vacancy decontrol, by which apartments are unregulated when their monthly rent crosses a certain threshold.
In a statement, Cuomo denounced that bill, but saw it as a stepping stone for negotiations.
“On Friday night, the Senate proposed an eight-year extender to New York City’s rent laws,” the governor said in a statement. “The law differs from my proposal in a number of significant ways which makes it unacceptable because it does not include the necessary improvements on the existing law, its poses new hurdles for tenants and it reduces tenant protections.
“However, the bill is relevant and noteworthy in one way. The State Senate has offered an eight-year extension of the current rent laws as opposed to letting them expire.”
With no clear consensus between both houses and the governor, some lawmakers have suggested letting the protections expire until a suitable compromise can be met. Assemblyman Keith Wright, head of the chamber’s housing committee, told Capital last week that he had doubts that a compromise could be met by the deadline.
“As I have said all along and repeated in a letter to New York City landlords, I will not allow the Legislature to leave town until the rent laws are resolved and at the end of the day the rent laws will be in place so landlords and real estate speculators should not seek to exploit any apparent lack of clarity in New York City’s rent laws,” Cuomo said in an emailed statement…‘
Read the rest of the article at CapitalNewYork.com here.
Article author Michael Haltman is the President of Hallmark Abstract Service in New York.
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