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Silver Announces Details of Rent Protection Bill

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From State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office:

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Housing Committee Chair Vito Lopez announced the expected passage of legislation today that will extend and strengthen New York City’s rent regulation laws. The measure (A.2674A/Lopez) includes provisions that will protect millions of working New Yorkers, extend rent-stabilization laws set to expire June 15, and close loopholes that allow for the loss of thousands of affordable apartments every year.

“Every year more than 10,000 rent-regulated apartments are lost because of loopholes in the rent laws,” said Silver (D-Manhattan). “By ending vacancy decontrol, reducing rent increases after a landlord makes capitol improvements and cutting the increases allowed after a vacancy, this legislation will help keep middle-class families from being priced out of their homes and communities. The Assembly Majority remains committed to fighting for the rights of the tenants in our city, and we urge the Senate to quickly act on this legislation.”

“As we face a housing crisis, we must preserve our limited affordable housing stock and make sure our working families can afford to live in New York City,” said Lopez (D-Brooklyn).  “This legislation will help stabilize our working class neighborhoods when families are bearing the brunt of these uncertain economic times.”

The bill would:

Repeal vacancy decontrol, which permits landlords to remove apartments from regulation by charging rents at or above $2,000 a month;

Reduce allowable rent increases after a landlord makes individual apartment improvements from 1/40th to 1/60th the cost of the improvement;

Cap the amount that can be collected for a major capital improvement to the actual cost of the improvement;

Bring certain units that were deregulated due to vacancy decontrol on or after January 1, 2007, again under the protection of rent regulation;

Cut in half the percentage increase by which a landlord can raise rents after a vacancy;

Increase the high income and high rent deregulation thresholds to $300,000 and $3,000 respectively;

and Permit New York City to strengthen rent protections beyond what the state allows.

Under current law, over 2.5 million tenants are 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.

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