Good cause eviction gains steam, passes in Poughkeepsie

Campaign for tenant protections previously passed in Albany, Hudson and Newburgh

Tri-State /
Nov.November 16, 2021 06:08 PM

Rob Rolison, mayor of Poughkeepsie (Facebook/City of Poughkeepsie)

And then there were four.

Poughkeepsie on Monday night became the latest New York municipality to pass good cause eviction, a measure that affords renters robust eviction protections and limits rent increases.

The Common Council voted 6 to 1 in favor. The Poughkeepsie Journal first reported the news.

Unless vetoed by Mayor Rob Rolison, who told the Journal he would review the legislation over the next 10 days, it could be used as a defense against eviction in the event a landlord hiked the rent by an “unconscionable” amount. The bill lists anything above 5 percent in a calendar year as an example.

Similar measures have passed in recent months at three other localities along the New York State Thruway: Newburgh, Hudson and Albany.

The actions are wins for advocacy group Housing Justice For All, which launched a campaign Tuesday calling on state lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul to pass a statewide version of the bill.

A good cause bill stalled in committee proposes tighter mandates than Poughkeepsie’s measure. A rent hike in excess of 3 percent, or 150 percent of inflation, whichever is higher, would shield a tenant from eviction.

Housing Justice For All organizer Cea Weaver said the local wins are a sign of building momentum but that a statewide measure remains “an uphill battle.”

“Landlords are mobilizing against this bill,” Weaver added.

The Rent Stabilization Association, in response to the tenant group’s rallies Tuesday, voiced concerns over the bill, but the landlord group has yet to launch a counter campaign. Its members’ rent-stabilized tenants already enjoy protections similar to those in good cause bills, and the landlords say expansion would discourage construction of new rentals and investment in existing ones.

“Good cause eviction — permanent tenancies — would be a death knell for local economies and affordable housing in New York City and across the state,” said its president, Joseph Strasburg.





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