The Real Deal New York

Lawmakers advocating for rent controls arrested at Capitol

Rally was led by City Councilmember Jumaane Williams

June 04, 2015 01:10PM

From left: Jumaane Williams, Corey Johnson and Laurie Combo

From left: Jumaane Williams, Corey Johnson and Laurie Combo

Approximately 60 legislators, City Council members and housing advocates were arrested Wednesday during a rally for rent controls at the Capitol in Albany.

The demonstration was informally led by Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, Capital New York reported. About 200 people were present, though only 60 were arrested after they refused to comply with officers’ orders to disperse.

Other lawmakers arrested included council members Laurie Cumbo and Corey Johnson, Assembly members Walter Mosley, Dick Gottfried, Felix Ortiz, Maritza Davila and Rodneyse Bichotte, and state senators Bill Perkins, Adriano Espaillat, Brad Hoylman, and James Sanders.

The demonstration took place in the Capitol’s War Room, where the protesters urged strengthening of rent control laws, which are set to expire June 15.

Last month, the Democratic-led Assembly passed a bill that would end vacancy decontrol, but it is uncertain what will happen to the measure in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Some lawmakers have said that a straight extender of the current rent regulations and 421a tax abatement measures is a likely scenario. Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen called this possibility a “real threat” to affordable housing.  [Capital NY] — Tess Hofmann