The Real Deal New York

Cuomo to hold rent control rally in Harlem

Metropolitan Council on Housing director calls the move “bogus”
June 04, 2015 08:00AM

Governor Andrew Cuomo has positioned himself far to the left of what some might expect on housing issues in recent weeks. Thursday, he is set to continue that trend by organizing a rally in Harlem on rent control issues.

Rent regulations and the 421a tax abatement program are set to expire June 15. Speaking Wednesday in Nassau County, Cuomo laid out his desire to strengthen the rent laws, according to Capital New York.

“I’m fighting not just to renew the rent laws, but also to improve and expand them,” he said. “We lose about 10,000 units per year. Now, it’s a very technical program, but I believe we can make modifications that reduce the number of units that we lose from the system.”

The Governor said he wants to increase the price at which apartments can be deregulated and limit how much tenants can be charged for capital improvements at their buildings.

Ava Farkas, executive director of the Metropolitan Council on Housing, called the rally a “load of nonsense.”

“While real estate-driven corruption scandals swirl … Cuomo sits on Albany’s biggest pile of real estate cash and holds a bogus rally in support of corrupt rent laws,” she said. “No wonder his job approval ratings are going down as fast as working families’ rents are going up.”

Cuomo has recently clashed with Mayor Bill de Blasio over the separate but related issue of 421a tax abatements, also set to expire on June 15. [Capital NY] — Tess Hofmann