The Real Deal New York

De Blasio chastises legislature for failing to agree on rent regs

Today is the expiration date for current laws, and no compromise is in sight
June 15, 2015 05:30PM

Mayor Bill de Blasio sounded off Monday on the “do-nothing” culture in Albany that has caused the legislature to fail to reach a compromise on rent regulations in time for the expiration deadline.

In an radio interview, de Blasio urged lawmakers to renew the rent regulations before they expire at midnight, Crain’s reported. “On rent, I’m hoping and praying they come to their senses,” he said. “That’s 2 million people [living in rent-regulated units]—one out of every nine people in New York state. They deserve to know that their housing will be safe and secure.”

Regarding the issue of the 421a tax abatement, which expires at the end of the month, he reiterated his position that he would rather end the abatement entirely than see the current version temporarily extended.

“If they’re talking about a longer extension of 421-a—many have been talking about a one-year extension—well, that just takes a bad situation and continues it,” he said. “Hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars would simply be given away unnecessarily in the coming year.”

With the deadline on rent regulations fast approaching, it appears that the Senate, the Assembly and Governor Andrew Cuomo are no closer to reaching an agreement. Each has released a statement explaining why they cannot compromise.
Cuomo has said an eight-year extension of the rent laws, which Republicans have advocated for, is “unacceptable” because it weakens regulations. Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said that he wants to see income verification and primary residence verification included in the laws. And Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie noted that the Assembly has already passed a rent-law bill that is supported by Cuomo.

“Only the Senate is standing in the way of these new laws, which are crucial to millions of New Yorkers,” he said.

There has been talk of a possible two-day extension on the deadline. [Crain’s] — Tess Hofmann