If Rent Laws Expire, We Have Your Back
By Public Advocate Letitia James
There is a sense of urgency being felt in every corner of New York City – from Washington Heights, to Corona; from the South Bronx, to Sunset Park. And we need to make sure this urgency is felt all the up in Albany.
In just a few short days, the rent regulation laws that govern over one million New York City apartments and protect over two million working and middle class New Yorkers are set to expire.
The rent laws are the most important tools we have to preserve affordable housing in our City. They allow millions of families to stay in their homes without fear of being pushed out by unreasonable rent increases.
But unless our state government acts now to renew and strengthen these vital laws, the lives of millions of working families will hang in the balance.
Every day New Yorkers should not be punished for the embarrassing dysfunction in Albany.
And if the rent laws expire on Monday, we want tenants to know that they will still have legal protections and recourses to stay in their apartments. That is why my office is partnering with attorneys and advocates from across our City to provide legal assistance to tenants in rent regulated apartments.
We know that there are too many landlords out there looking for any excuse to try to push rent regulated tenants out and make a quick buck. But the Public Advocate’s office is here to help.
My office is prepared to provide legal help for any tenant facing harassment, unfair rent increases, or unlawful eviction attempts.
We are urging any concerned tenants to call 212-669-7250 for help if the rent laws expire. And we need all hands on deck to help spread the word.
Because if Albany won’t stand up for tenants, we in New York City will mount all available defenses to protect rent regulation and the millions of New Yorkers who depend on it.
Of course, we would rather Albany just do its job and pass strengthened rent regulations so we do not have to resort to emergency measures.
We need strong rent laws to fight income inequality across our City.
For decades, rent regulation has given countless families financial security – allowing generations to climb the economic ladder and strengthening the middle class.
While I am hopeful that these special legal services will not be necessary, New York City must have a back-up plan.
This is fight is about the future of our City, about the ability of working families to live and prosper in our City.
We want tenants everywhere to know that they are not alone.
Most New Yorkers don’t have expensive lawyers and lobbyists, but they have a Public Advocate that is here for them. And I will never back down.