Senator Krueger and Senate Democratic Conference Announce Affordable Housing Legislative Package

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

New York – Senator Krueger today joined members of the Senate Democratic Conference to unveil an affordable housing package to better ensure fair housing practices throughout New York State.

“New York State’s rent regulation laws enable more than two million people, the vast majority of whom are moderate or low-income, to remain in safe and affordable housing,” said Sen. Krueger. “Due to vacancy decontrol and other landlord-friendly loopholes added to the laws over the last two decades, hundreds of thousands of desperately needed affordable apartments have been lost. Abuse of major capital improvement rent increases causes unjustified hardship for tenants, and the threat of losing affordable preferential rents hangs over more than a quarter of rent regulated tenants, especially those in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in New York City. It is critical that we act now to stem the loss of affordable housing, and I am proud to stand with my Senate Democratic colleagues to strengthen the system and ensure that New York City is a place where regular working people can afford to live.”

The Senate Democratic Conference proposals include renewing and strengthening rent control legislation for another 2 years through the Tenant Protection Act of 2015, as well as repealing initiatives that harm tenants such as vacancy decontrol and the vacancy bonus. The Senate Democrats also called for caps on rent increases allowed for individual and multi-apartment capital improvements.

The package of affordable housing legislation includes bills that will:

  • Repeal provisions of State and City statutes that remove apartments from rent stabilization when they are vacated and could be rented for monthly rents of $2,500 or more. The bill also re-regulates units deregulated due to vacancy since 1993 to their December 31, 2014 rates.
  • Repeal provisions permitting rent increases of 20% or more upon vacancy of a rent stabilized dwelling unit, and reform preferential rent practices.
  • Standardize the rental adjustment a landlord may impose for the total cost of an individual apartment improvement, reduce the increase allowed to 1/84th of the costs and require DHCR to issue a schedule of reasonable costs for repairs so that landlords can’t fraudulently attempt to deregulate an apartment through improvements that may not have been made or for inflated claims of costs incurred.
  • Provide that major capital improvements (MCI) be calculated as a rent surcharge and will not become part of the base legal regulated rent by which rent increases are calculated; requires the amount be separately designated and billed as such; prevents landlords from receiving a financial windfall from MCI funded by the New York State Energy and Development Authority (NYSERDA).