The Real Deal New York

Does de Blasio’s affordable-housing plan stand a chance?

Scheme's success likely lies in ditching 1971 rent regulation law
May 07, 2014 05:20PM

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious 10-year, $41 billion affordable housing plan calls for new planning initiatives and zoning changes that will help bring the 200,000 affordable housing units to fruition. But one of the keys to his potential success is his call to repeal a law that hands state legislature power over rent regulation.

Unlike his predecessor Mayor Michael Bloomberg, de Blasio has communicated his support to repeal the Urstadt Law, which, passed in 1971, took away New York City’s power to issue local rent laws that are more stringent than those in any other state.

Opposition from within the state Senate could thwart the mayor’s efforts, according to Crain’s. Republication lawmakers such as Sen. Catherine Young, R-Olean, have voted against repealing the law.

Still, de Blasio has managed to garner the support from many within the real estate community, who have expressed support for the new administration’s affordable-housing plan. Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan said, “You are always better off in Albany when you have a stronger and more diverse coalition, and having unlikely bedfellows can certainly be effective.” [Crain’s]Sasha von Oldershausen

  • DanM

    Repealing the Urstadt law may be important to de Blasio’s plan to “preserve” affordable housing, but let’s be serious. The bulk of stabilized housing isn’t going anywhere and is already being maintained. The only likely results of further limiting rent increases are what happened when they were limited in the past: deterioration of the low end and co-op conversion of the middle and higher. “Preservation” is a way to pump housing plan numbers, but it is new units that count.

  • TefExpat
    • noclist

      There isn’t one. Section 8 and projects is what the Bronx is known for.