As we reported earlier, Democratic lawmakers from New York City to Albany demanded today that rent reform be addressed in the nearly completed budget deal, not at some later date. Everyone was interested in knowing whether Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver would oppose the governor’s decision to delay the rent debate until after the budget is passed. Here’s how the Daily News reported the story:
When reporters caught up to him on his way into the Assembly Democratic conference, Silver said the true deadline was June 15th, when the current rent regulations expire. “The end result is obviously the most important thing and that’s that we have a meaningful rent regulation bill in place when the current law expires,” Silver said. “That’s the most important thing. As far as the timing of it, it would be more convenient in the budget, obviously, to do it now, but what’s the most important thing is to have a system in place before the expiration.
But then this evening, Silver’s office put out the following statement:
Extending and strengthening the rent laws that allow millions of New Yorkers to stay in their homes is a top priority for me, Housing Committee Chair Vito Lopez, and the majority of our conference, and I believe it should be included as part of the budget. As a recent report released by the Assembly documents, more than 10,000 rent-regulated apartments are lost in our city each year. We must act to save our threatened stock of affordable housing and protect working families from being priced out of their neighborhoods.