Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed into law a bill extending the rent stabilization laws in New York City until April 1, 2018.
The bill was sponsored by Council Member Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan); Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn), Deputy Leader and Chair of the Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee; Council Member Helen Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), and others.
The bill was unanimously passed by the New York City Council on March 11, with a package of legislation to renew and strengthen New York City’s rent laws.
Under State law, the rent control system will expire in June 2015 unless the City conducts a housing vacancy survey and finds that there is still a housing shortage.
“The recently published Housing Vacancy Survey revealed that New York City’s vacancy rate is at 3.45 percent. Combine that with steadily increasing rents and widespread income stagnation, it’s clear that our city is currently in a housing crisis,” said Williams, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn.
“In order to ensure thousands of New Yorkers do not see their rent go up or their protection against arbitrary evictions lost, we must enact stronger tenant protections, which is exactly what our package of legislation does,” he added.
“Strengthening rent laws is the only option I consider a win in Albany, because simply renewing them would be a major loss for all tenants,” Williams continued. “It’s my hope that with this legislation passed, our state legislators hear the Council’s recommendations loud and clear, and will further develop a plan that not only complements the Mayor’s Housing Plan but gives immediate relief to our poor and working class citizens who need it most.”
The mayor said rent regulations are “vital to protecting New Yorkers from displacement and keeping our communities whole.
“Renewing and strengthening rent rules is a top priority for us in Albany this session, and we will fight alongside our partners in the City Council and our delegation in the State Legislature to ensure we have the tools we need to preserve more than a million rent stabilized apartments,” he said. “I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her leadership, and Council Members Williams, Johnson, and Rosenthal for sponsoring this bill.”
According to the 2014 Housing and Vacancy Survey, there were about 75,000 vacant available rental units in New York City, an increase of about 7,000 units since 2011.
The survey also found that the median contract rent, including utility payments, increased by 4.3 percent from $1,100 in 2011 to $1,325 in 2014.