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Rally Held Outside City Council Hearing On Extending, Strengthening Rent Regulations

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Ralliers were outside City Hall Monday, as the City Council considers a series of nine bills to extend certain rent regulations that are set to expire in June.

City Councilman Jumaane Williams is leading the effort.

"We demand a strengthening of the rent laws," he said. "And when we talk about tenants, we some times talk about numbers. These are families -- mothers, children, friends, aunts -- these are real people.

Rally Held Outside City Council Hearing On Extending, Strengthening Rent Regulations

Williams and other advocates argue with 60,000 people in city shelters right now, that number will spike if rent protections are not kept in place and, in fact, made stronger than ever, 1010 WINS' Glenn Shuck reported.

"...The only way to really survive in this city is to have rent laws that are strong," Williams said.

Councilman Dan Garodnick is also on board with the package of bills.

"We have a housing emergency in New York City," he said.

Garodnick, along with other lawmakers -- mostly Democrats -- have been making regular trips to Albany with tenants to push for the strengthening of rent regulations.

"We will put our full weight on Albany to close these nefarious loopholes which are destroying housing in this city," Garodnick said.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer called on Albany to get its act together and said the bills are crucial for New York City's future

"If our people can only come to this city because they can afford a $1 million or $2 million condo, then the dreams of the city die," Stringer said. "If we are a city for the very, very rich with enclaves for the very, very poor, we will not be able to lift our city up."

During Monday's hearing on the bills, the council was expected to hear testimony from representatives of the Department of Housing reservation and Development, housing advocates, building owners, legal service providers, and other interested members of the public.

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