June 11, 2019

Statement from Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie on Historic Affordable Housing Legislation

"These reforms give New Yorkers the strongest tenant protections in history. For too long, power has been tilted in favor of landlords and these measures finally restore equity and extend protections to tenants across the state. These reforms will pass both legislative houses and we are hopeful that the Governor will sign them into law. It is the right thing to do.

"None of these historic new tenant protections would be possible without the fact that New York finally has a united Democratic legislature. Our appreciation also goes to the tenant advocacy groups and activists that fought so hard to make this possible."


The comprehensive tenant protection legislation:

Extends the Rent Regulation Laws and Makes them Permanent:

Repeals High Rent Vacancy Deregulation & High Income Deregulation:

Reforms Owner Use Exception to Rent Regulation:

Keeps Stabilized Apartments Rented by Nonprofits in the Rent Stabilization System:

Repeals the Vacancy Bonus & Longevity Bonus:

Prohibits Rent Guidelines Board from Setting Class-Specific Renewal Increases:

Makes Preferential Rents the Base Rent for Lease Renewal Increases:

Provides Relief from Large Rent Increases for Rent-Controlled Tenants:

Extends Rent Overcharge Four-Year Look-Back Period to Six Years:

Reforms Rent Increases for Major Capital Improvements (MCIs):

Reforms Rent Increases for Individual Apartment Improvements (IAIs):

Requires Annual Report From HCR On Rent Administration and Tenant Protection:

Reforms Co-Op/Condo Conversions :

Establishes Rent Stabilization as an Option for Localities Statewide:

Establishes Stronger Housing Security and Tenant Protections Statewide:

Implements Mobile & Manufactured Home (MMH) Tenant Protections:

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Cea Weaver, Campaign Director of the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance, said, "The Senate and the Assembly have come together with a proposal to confront decades of injustices in New York State's tenant protection system. Housing Justice for All is proud to stand with the State Legislature as it takes meaningful steps forward to end tenant harassment, displacement, destabilization, and rising rents. This bill is affirmation of the Statewide movement that we are building together, and we look forward to working with the Senate and the Assembly, in the years to come, until every renter, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, can live free from the fear of displacement."

Adriene Holder, Attorney-in-Charge of the Civil Practice at The Legal Aid Society, said, "The Legal Aid Society commends the New York State Senate and Assembly for reaching this deal to advance historic housing reforms across the State. This package of legislation will reverse decades of rampant landlord abuse and enact much-needed protections for hundreds of thousands of tenants in New York State. It is a new day for our clients and all low-income communities who have been disproportionately impacted by rent loopholes. We thank Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Heastie for their leadership in moving the State forward and strengthening our communities."

Rosemary Rivera, Co-Executive Director of Citizen Action of NY, said, "This past election ignited the fires of change as evidenced by today's tenant protection package. The Senate and Assembly have listened to the needs of tenants across the state and put forth bold legislation to end the housing crisis, showing how ordinary people, when organized, can beat back the billionaire real estate giants. We applaud the Senate and Assembly for taking a giant first step toward protecting tenants and affirming that housing a human right."

Beth Finkel, New York State Director for AARP, said, "AARP advocated for stronger tenant protections and reforms to make New York's rent laws work, and this agreement marks an historic day for affordable housing in New York City and other key neighborhoods in New York State. Strengthening our rent laws will preserve existing affordable housing and help keep New York City a great place to live for residents of all ages, and AARP applauds our legislators for stepping up for their constituents."

Legal Services NYC, said, "Thank you to the NY Senate and Assembly for decisively addressing the displacement crisis in our clients communities. The proposed bills will make an immeasurable difference to thousands of low income and working families who are struggling to survive in NYCs housing market."

Benjamin Dulchin, Executive Director of the Association of Neighborhood and Housing Development, said, "For too long, weak regulations have led speculators to harass and displace tenants in communities across New York. Affordable housing developers know that stability benefits both tenants and landlords, and that housing quality and housing affordability can go hand in hand. We applaud the State Legislature for the proposed bill, which represents an enormous step forward for millions of tenants."