Lawmakers introduce bill to keep rent regulation alive

Proposal aims to close vacancy escape hatch for years

TRD New York /
Jul.July 30, 2020 12:36 PM
Assemblyman Harvey Epstein and Senator Brad Hoylman (Epstein by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images; Hoylman by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Assemblyman Harvey Epstein and Senator Brad Hoylman (Epstein by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images; Hoylman by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Two state lawmakers have introduced bills aimed at ensuring the pandemic does not unravel rent regulation in New York.

The twin bills, introduced Tuesday in the Senate and Assembly, propose removing the vacancy rate from the criteria for rent regulation until years after the worst of the pandemic is over, according to The City.

The rationale for rent regulation is that there is a “housing emergency,” meaning a vacancy rate of less than 5 percent. However the exodus from New York has pushed the rate up, raising questions about whether rent regulation is at risk.

Introduced by Manhattan Democrats, Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblyman Harvey Epstein, the bills would pause the vacancy tally — the housing and vacancy survey done every three or four years — until two years after the state lifts its emergency declaration stemming from Covid.

“This would forestall any ending of the housing emergency and allow the market to stabilize,” Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat, told The City.

The next vacancy survey is due to be released in 2022. Epstein said the lawmakers did not want the numbers skewed by residents who left for short periods during the pandemic.

“We don’t want that to have any impact on the structure … around affordable housing,” he said.

The bar for unraveling rent regulation is high — and many experts consider such a move unlikely.

“I’m not inclined to believe all that much will change,” real estate attorney Michael Dabah told The Real Deal in June. “Such a quick reversal strikes me as highly unlikely in the face of the fairly recent shift in momentum.” [The City] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
348 Court Street (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)

Collapses raise questions about safety-law exemption

Collapses raise questions about safety-law exemption
185 East 85th Street (Google Maps)

Rent overcharge case targets “The Jeffersons” tower

Rent overcharge case targets “The Jeffersons” tower
Lenox Terrace at 470 Lenox Avenue and Olnick Organization president Seth Schochet (Olnick; Google Maps)

Olnick reaches $1.2M settlement with Lenox Terrace tenants in rent overcharge case

Olnick reaches $1.2M settlement with Lenox Terrace tenants in rent overcharge case
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Schumer by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images; McConnell by Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty)

Schumer v. McConnell on SALT: Who’s gonna give?

Schumer v. McConnell on SALT: Who’s gonna give?
From left: Jared Kushner, 715 Park Avenue, Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing, and Rosemary Vrablic (Credits: Kushner by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images; 715 Park via Google Maps; Sewing by by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images; Vrablic by PAUL LAURIE/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Apartment sale to banker for Trump and Kushner probed

Apartment sale to banker for Trump and Kushner probed
Councilman Mark Levine (Credit: Getty Images)

Council moves to free co-op owners from rent-reg bureaucracy

Council moves to free co-op owners from rent-reg bureaucracy
China’s housing market is into bubble territory

There are fears of a great housing bubble in China

There are fears of a great housing bubble in China
Governor Andrew Cuomo (Getty, iStock)

What NYC’s phase 4 means for real estate

What NYC’s phase 4 means for real estate
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...