Backers of “good cause” eviction, trying to build momentum across New York, have put the measure on the agenda in another town.
The Village of New Paltz began holding public hearings about a law in mid-August, according to the Times Union. A public comment period followed, but hopes for a vote at the end of September were dashed.
The legislation, which passed in Albany and is being pondered in Hudson, varies from place to place. In New Paltz, the initial draft would require landlords to go through the New Paltz Justice Court before evicting a tenant.
In the village — which is made up 73 percent of renters, buoyed by the presence of SUNY New Paltz — tenants would be entitled to a lease renewal and safeguarded from eviction for rent hikes above 5 percent. That is why landlords consider “good cause” to be rent control.
Tenants could still face eviction for other violations, such as if they engage in illegal activity in their homes or don’t pay rent that has not increased above the legal threshold.
The 5 percent rent hike limit has drawn criticism from landlords, according to the Times Union, creating fears of rent control or stabilization, a characterization that Deputy Mayor Alexandria Wojcik disputes, but various tenant advocates do not.
Albany was the first city in New York to pass a “good cause” eviction law, in July. The bill caps annual rent increases at 5 percent and creates other protections to stop evictions.
Hudson followed Albany’s lead in August, introducing a bill supported by Mayor Kamal Johnson. The law would require landlords to renew leases for tenants in good standing and justify eviction attempts through the court system. A vote on the bill has not been scheduled.
Efforts have been made to pass a statewide “good cause” bill. One coalition, Compassionate New York, has been working on a bill that was first introduced in 2019.
The coalition estimates that the measure could save the state $1.6 billion annually on costs for emergency shelter and other services for rental households. It’s not clear how many evictions the bill would prevent or how much it would curtail investment in rental housing.
[Times Union] — Holden Walter-Warner