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New York City Council passes continuation of rent stabilization law

NYC Council votes to maintain protections for rent-stabilized apartments
NYC Council votes to maintain protections for rent-stabilized apartments 02:10

NEW YORK -- The New York City Council voted Tuesday that New Yorkers in rent-stabilized apartments will maintain certain protections.

In a 42-2 vote, City Council passed a continuation of the New York City Rent Stabilization Law.

For New Yorkers living in rent-stabilized units, this means they'll maintain their right to renew their leases and be protected from certain evictions and sharp rent increases.

According to the City Council, nearly 1 million households in the city of New York -- out of the roughly 3.7 million -- are currently protected by rent regulations.

"A landlord can't just come in and say, you know, you're gonna pay $4,000 more now," Councilmember Pierina Sanchez said.

Sanchez says without the legislation, which must be voted on every three years, the benefits so many New York renters are used to would go away.

"New Yorkers might take them for granted because it seems like for as long as you've been a New Yorker ... we've had these protections," she said. "They wouldn't continue if we didn't pass these bills today."

Many New Yorkers think the protections are a positive.

"The landlords kind of take advantage of that, kinda like spiking up their rent so they can pay more, so I feel like that's a good thing. It benefits the people," one Manhattan resident said.

The law, which was set to expire on April 1, will now remain in effect until April 1, 2027.

"They know they're going to extend it because we have a permanent housing emergency in New York City," said Michael Tobman, communications director for the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents owners of both regulated and unregulated apartment buildings.

Tobman says the city should take a closer look at what's being passed every three years as times change.

"People are abusing it, legal abuses, to subsidize luxury lifestyles, and that comes at the expense of tenants in true economic distress ... It would be better or more responsible and fairer to tenants and owners alike to have a thoughtful critical eye in looking at what's working with the system and what's not working with the system," Tobman said.

In order to declare a housing emergency, the city's rental vacancy rate must be less than 5%. Currently that number stands at 1.41%, the lowest it has been since 1968. That's according to the city's 2023 housing and vacancy survey.

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