NYS Seal For Immediate Release:
June 16, 2008


Assembly Passes Legislation To Protect New York City Loft Tenants From Unfair Eviction And Ensure Compliance With Safety Standards

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Housing Chair Vito J. Lopez announced the Assembly's passage last week of two bills to safeguard tenants living in New York City lofts from unfair eviction and unsafe building conditions while expanding rental protections for tenants currently living in mixed-residential structures throughout the city.

The Assembly approved legislation (A.2816-A) sponsored by Assemblymember Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan) to extend the city's Loft Law until 2011, while prohibiting loft owners from recovering units occupied by long-term tenants. The legislation would also allow individual tenants to more easily seek redress against building owners who fail to comply in bringing their buildings up to fire and safety codes.

The Assembly also passed a bill (A.4726-B/Lopez) that would designate buildings zoned for commercial purposes with three or more families residing within from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2007 as interim multiple dwellings and require owners to comply with fire and safety codes in order to receive a certificate of occupancy.

"For decades, many neighborhoods throughout our city have benefited from the creative spirit of artists who have put their time and money into refurbishing loft buildings for workspace and residences" said Silver (D-Manhattan) "This legislation will protect these vibrant, creative and dedicated residents from losing their apartments to building owners who would seek to push them out of their homes in order to charge increased rents. The Assembly is committed to extending and strengthening the Loft Law, the mechanism by which artists can retain affordable housing."

"Through the hard work of artists in Brooklyn neighborhoods such as DUMBO, Williamsburg and Greenpoint, many buildings have been refurbished for needed residential and work space," said Lopez (D-Brooklyn). "It is past time that these artists are afforded the same protection from arbitrary evictions and inadequate fire and safety compliance as loft tenants in other parts of the city. By passing this legislation, the Assembly has taken an important step towards guaranteeing safe and affordable housing for the artists who have contributed so much to their communities."

"Just as the artistic community is vital to the life of New York City, the Loft Law is essential for so many of our artists," said Glick. "By extending and expanding Loft Law protections, the Assembly remains committed to ensuring the viability of affordable housing for these hardworking, creative people who have put so much of their lives into improving these buildings for work and living space."

Earlier this year, the Assembly passed legislation (A.2875-A/Lopez) that would prohibit commercial property owners who rent out space for residential purposes from discontinuing services such as electricity and water to tenants as a means of retaliation.