Not doing so would cost countless New Yorkers who rely on affordable housing their homes at a time when Manhattan and gentrified outer borough neighborhoods are becoming more expensive than ever.
Without protections like rent stabilization, working-class families in below-market rate apartments would be priced out of neighborhoods like Fort Greene, where they’ve spent their entire lives.
The fight over affordable housing is already well underway. From Williamsburg to Corona, landlords are doing everything possible to replace lower-income tenants with wealthier ones who can pay higher rents.
In regulated buildings, they’re doing so by making repairs - some of them legitimate, others less so - then applying to the state for rent increases known as major capital improvements, or MCIs.
The system is broken. Unregulated, unwieldy and disorganized, it provides little recourse for residents, and all the leverage to landlords who are interested in exploiting it to make some easy money.
It needs to be fixed by implementing stricter guidelines on landlords, and a much tighter enforcement mechanism for the state, which is known for rubber-stamping many MCI requests.
Likewise, repealing vacancy decontrol would help preserve thousands of affordable apartments for the people who need them most, instead of turning them over to residents who can afford to live almost anywhere they’d like.
These and other reforms sought by community organizations and many elected officials from the Democratic Party would help solve an affordable housing “crisis” that advocates say is spiraling out of control.
At the very least, the expiring rent laws should be renewed.