ADA believes that affordable housing for all Americans is a necessity. In New York City, where we have limited space and skyrocketing rents, affordable housing is a crucial issue. Tenant rights and preservation of rent control are recurrent battles. We also support the production of more middle and low-income housing. We applaud those non-profit organizations working in this area on behalf of tenants’ rights.
We support the following solutions to housing problems:
- Home rule on rent control. As it stands, every three years the city’s tenants have to wage a fight in Albany to get the state to renew rent control and rent stabilization protections that are necessary for many New Yorkers. Upstate Senate Republicans are neither particularly knowledgeable nor particularly concerned about the problems of New York City renters. We believe that control of the rent control issue ought to be passed to the City Council, which could more effectively make decisions on a situation near and dear to the hearts of their constituents. We also support the repeal of the Urstadt Law, which bans the Council from making rent control and rent stabilization laws more effective.
- Preservation and extension of low and middle-income housing. Affordable housing has been made possible in the past by programs like Mitchell-Lama. However, Mitchell-Lama and Section 8 tenant protection provisions often expire, providing tenants with no protection whatsoever after a phase-in period. These protections should be extended to more reasonable periods of time, and should be covered by rent stabilization laws when the original protections expire. In addition, we support legislation veterans and the disabled, so that affordable New York City housing can become a reality.
- We welcome recent passage of legislation adding new protections for rent regulated tenants. Legislation extending the laws until June 2015 raises the vacancy decontrol rate, increases the rent control threshold, allows landlords to collect an automatic vacancy bonus only once a year to build more such housing, for the general public as well as for groups with special needs, including and empowers NYS Homes and Community Renewal to promulgate rules and regulations to implement and enforce the Act. We must continue the struggle to achieve stronger protections for tenants.