Affordable Housing Developers Teaming with Low-Income Tenant Activists to Push for Rent Regulation Reforms

ALBANY — A group representing affordable housing developers is teaming up with low-income tenant activists for the first time to push for rent regulation reforms.

The New York State Association for Affordable Housing — along with groups that include the Legal Aid Society, VOCAL New York, Enterprise Community Partners, AARP, the Coalition for the Homeless, and the New York Housing Conference — sent letters to state leaders urging specific pro-tenant changes when the rent laws expire in June.

The groups are pushing to end what’s known as luxury vacancy decontrol that allows landlords to bring an apartment out of the rent regulation system when it becomes vacant and the monthly rents rise past $2,733.

They are also looking to strip landlords of the power to offer lower, preferential rents to tenants and then revoke it upon lease renewal.

And the new coalition wants to change existing provisions that allow landlords to seek rent hikes based on major capital improvements and individual apartment upgrades. The goal is to tweak the wording so the provisions will work “in a way that reduces excessive rent hikes but ensures that owners can provide safe and decent housing.”