Cuomo Says Failure to Extend Rent Regs Could Lead to Special Session
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he will not allow lawmakers to go home unless rent regulation laws that covered more than 1 million New York City tenants are extended.
The regulations expired after midnight Wednesday, leaving New Yorkers previously protected by the 1946 law vulnerable after the state Senate failed to extend the law.
The legislative session is supposed to end on Monday, but the governor said he is prepared to call a special session to ensure tenants are projected.
"Affordable housing is an all too scarce commodity, especially in New York City and the surrounding areas. Our state's rent protection laws are essential and any long term expiration would create a crisis," he said on Thursday morning.
Despite a deal that had been struck between the Assembly and Senate to extend the current rent regulations to Friday while negotiations continued, Senate Democrats and Republicans got into what Democratic Senator Diane Savino called "the worst of political games" minutes before the bill expired at midnight.
The inaction, however, likely means no immediate threat to renters.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver are seeking to strengthen protections for tenants, saying thousands of families could face rent spikes without changes to the law. The Republican-led Senate wants a simple extension of the law's current provisions. Democrats want the laws strengthened. They've been pushing for the following provisions:
- Ending a $2,000 rent threshold that, once reached, allows landlords to deregulate apartments and charge market rents. A bill passed by the New York State Assembly would raise that threshold to $3,000.
- Reduce rent increases landlords are allowed to charge when they make improvements or when an apartment becomes vacant.
With reporting by Cindy Rodriguez