Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Housing Committee Chair Vito Lopez today announced the passage of legislation extending provisions of rent stabilization and rent control laws through June 15, 2018 (A.11410).
Recent studies of vacancy rates in New York City have indicated that this rate has declined to less than three percent. The basis for rent control and rent stabilization is a housing emergency, defined as a vacancy rate below five percent.
"Affordable housing is a necessity, not a luxury, and it's crucial that we continue to provide New Yorkers with rent stabilized and rent controlled homes," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "We must continue addressing the needs of middle-income families during this economic crisis."
"Yesterday we took a step towards creating certainty for the thousands of tenants of rent stabilized apartments," said Lopez (D-Brooklyn). "In my sixteen plus years as Housing Chair, affordable housing has been my number one priority, by creating new opportunities or preserving existing housing stock. This bill will ensure that at a minimum, rent protections will be continued for an additional seven years. Government need not wait until we get to a deadline to act."
There are currently over 2.5 million tenants protected by rent-regulation laws in New York State. The rent stabilization system began in 1969, when rents were sharply increasing in many post-war buildings, and generally includes apartments in buildings with six or more units constructed between February 1, 1947 and January 1, 1974.
Rent control applies to buildings constructed prior to February 1, 1947, in municipalities that have not ended the postwar rental housing emergency. For an apartment to qualify as rent-controlled, the tenant or their successor must have been residing in an apartment continuously since before July 1, 1971.
Earlier this year, the Assembly passed a nine-bill package intended to protect tenants and strengthen rent laws.