Things could get “ugly” with rent reforms
in Albany

Insiders say the bills may be packaged into a broader omnibus bill
May 17, 2019 02:00PM

New York State Capitol in Albany and Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Getty Images)

New York State Capitol in Albany and Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Getty Images)

With New York State rent laws expiring in just under a month, insiders told the New York Daily News that the package of reforms may land in the end-of-session omnibus bill known as the “Big Ugly.” That scenario would see rent law reforms combined with a number of other contentious issues — even marijuana legalization.

Cea Weaver of the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance expects Cuomo to come in on the side of real estate and use the tight timeline to push through a package that is more favorable for his industry backers.

“I think that there is certainly a fear that the governor is going to use things that are in his power, which includes the capital budget and the clock, the end of session, to leverage a weakened package,” Weaver told the Daily News.

A representative from Cuomo said the governor supports part of the package of nine bills, and called fears that they would be rolled into an omnibus bill “conspiracy theories.”

While the representative stated the governor’s support for ending vacancy decontrol, repealing preferential rent and limiting improvement charges, it is unclear if the governor will throw his weight behind the more contentious bills, including a “good cause” eviction bill which would give protections to unregulated tenants.

The real estate industry has argued against some of these changes, saying that the cost of owning properties will continue to increase, leading to a decline in housing stock.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said the conference is working on a package that will be unveiled soon. [NYDN] — Georgia Kromrei