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New York inches closer to universal rent control with state lawmakers’ support

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Nine bills aimed at protecting NY tenants are likely to pass, Albany Democrats say

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With just 11 days before New York’s rent laws expire, politicians in Albany may have reached consensus regarding nine bills part of the “universal rent control” platform, currently being discussed in the State Assembly and Senate, Albany politicians announced on Tuesday.

“Following a long discussion within the Senate Majority Conference, it is clear that we have support for all nine priority housing bills,” Democrat senate majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in a statement. “We have committed to providing New Yorkers with the strongest housing protections in state history.”

The package is aimed at protecting tenants, and includes nine bills that could end vacancy decontrol and the vacancy bonus, close the major capital improvements (MCI) and individual apartment improvements (IAI) loopholes, close the preferential rent loophole, and prohibit eviction without “good cause.”

As the debate over tenants’ rights and rent laws enters its final stages, several activists and at least one politician (NYC’s public advocate Jumaane Williams) have been arrested in the state’s capitol.

As we previously reported, it is estimated that three million New York state residents are renters, and nearly half of them are paying more than 30 percent of their annual income in rent.

The legislative session in Albany ends on June 19, and just a week later, on the city level, the Rent Guidelines Board will decide on rent increase, freeze, or rollback (likely to be an increase of up to 3.75 percent) for rent-stabilized apartments.