Tenants Have New Rights!

NYS passed Good Cause Eviction Protections against rent hikes and unfair evictions in April 2024. If you are eligible for Good Cause, you now have a right to remain in your home as long as you pay rent and follow your lease.

50+ Local NY Elected Officials Call On Albany to Pass Good Cause

Dear Governor Hochul, Speaker Heastie, and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins,

In recent months, a series of courts have struck down local Good Cause eviction laws in Newburgh, the City of Albany, and this week, in Poughkeepsie, ruling that the laws could only be passed at the state level – even while agreeing that Good Cause is constitutional. 

Together, the decisions are a direct attack on the residents of these three cities and threaten to worsen New York’s already-alarming housing crisis. They will put thousands of families at risk of losing their homes. 

As local elected officials from across the state who have been fighting to help our constituents keep a roof over their heads, we find our hands tied by the court’s decision. There is now only one option left: passing Good Cause at the state level in this legislative session. 

Tenants in Albany, Poughkeepsie, and Newburgh have been relying on Good Cause eviction protections to stop unconscionable rent hikes and prevent evictions. They include families like those at Capital Crossings in Albany, a housing complex whose residents have met harassment by armed guards after trying to organize against double-digit rent hikes and lease terminations. Without Good Cause, these families are now at immediate risk of displacement. 

The story is the same in the five cities across New York that have passed local Good Cause laws – Albany, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, Kingston, and Beacon. Tenants in these cities passed Good Cause laws to help tenants stay in their homes, fight rent hikes, and stabilize their communities, only to have judges preempt their work. Families in these cities who have used local Good Cause laws to file suit against abusive landlords will now have those cases put on hold pending a state-level ruling on the local law. As a result, these residents will be forced out of their homes. 

The panic now felt by the residents of Albany, Poughkeepsie, and Newburgh could have been prevented if the State had passed Good Cause last legislative session. These residents – and the more than four million unregulated tenants across New York – now have no basic protections against discrimination, rent increases, or landlord harassment. Not only are these protections necessary – they are widely popular. A May 2022 poll found that nearly two thirds of likely voters in New York State support Good Cause.

Some opponents of Good Cause in the state legislature inaccurately and dangerously claim that this is a local issue to be determined by local governments. As local elected officials who have made our support of Good Cause clear, we could not disagree more. We have done everything in our power to win Good Cause protections for our constituents – passing local laws and resolutions, holding town halls, and even joining protests – only to have the courts slam the door in our face. Now legal precedent puts all of these hard-fought efforts at risk. We need you to take action. 

As local elected officials representing hundreds of thousands of tenants across the State, we implore the State Legislature not to abdicate their responsibility to the millions of New Yorkers who could lose their homes in the coming months. While the legislature failed to pass Good Cause eviction protections during the 2022 legislative session, it is never too late to do the right thing. We urge you to pass Good Cause eviction protections and the rest of the 2023 Our Homes, Our Power package by the end of the budget session.

Sincerely, 

Gabriella A. Romero, Councilmember, Ward 6, Albany

Tom Hoey, Councilmember Ward 15, Albany

Derek Johnson, Councilmember, Albany

Owusu Anane, Councilmember, Ward 10, Albany

Kelly Kimbrough, Councilmember, Ward 4, President Pro Tempore, Albany

Sergio Adams, Councilmember, Ward 7, Albany

Celeste Barrett-Tolliver, Committeeperson, Ward 3, Albany

Matthew Miller, Legislator, 36th District, Albany County

Justice McCray, City Councilmember, Ward 2, Beacon, NY

Dan Aymar-Blair, City Councilmember, Ward 4, Beacon, NY

Paloma Wake, Councilmember, At-Large, Beacon, NY

Aviva Friedman, Councilmember, District 4, Binghamton

Alfredo Balarin, Common Council Member, Ward 11, City of Albany

Kathy Sheehan, Mayor, City of Albany

Andrea Shaut, Alderman-at-Large, City of Kingston

Michele Hirsch, Alderwoman, Ward 9, City of Kingston

Phil Erner, Ulster County legislator, District 6: City of Kingston Wards 3, 5 & 9, Ulster County

Sparrow Tobin, Alderman, Ward 4, City of Middletown

Giselle Martinez, Councilmember, Ward 1, City of Newburgh

Ramona Monteverde, Councilmember, Ward 2, City of Newburgh

Megan Deichler, Councilmember, City of Poughkeepsie

Barrington Atkins, Dutchess County Legislator, City of Poughkeepsie

Evan R. Menist, Majority Leader, Councilmember Ward 2, City of Poughkeepsie

Kim Smith, Councilmember At-Large, City of Rochester

Katie Aiello, Councilmember, Ward 1, City of Utica

Kristofer Munn, County Legislator, District 20, Dutchess County

Yvette Valdés Smith, Minority Leader, Dutchess County Legislature, Dutchess County

Thomas M. DePietro, Council President, Hudson

Kamal Johnson, Mayor, Hudson

Jorge DeFendini, Alderman, Ward 4, Ithaca

Ducson Nguyen, Alderperson, Ithaca

Cynthia Brock, Alderperson, Ward 1, Ithaca

Tiffany Chen Kumar, Alderwoman, Ward 4, Ithaca

Robert Gesualdo Cantelmo, Councilmember, Ithaca

Phoebe Brown, Councilwoman, Ward 2, Ithaca

Reynolds Scott-Childress, Alderman Ward 3, Kingston

Steve Noble, Mayor, Kingston

Elaine Denton, Town Councilor, Manlius

Carolyn Delvecchio Hoffman, County Legislator, District 25, Monroe County

Susan Hughes-Smith, Legislator, Monroe County

Rachel Barnhart, Legislator, District 21, Monroe County

William Burgess, Legislator, District 29, Monroe County

Anthony Grice, Councilman-at-Large, Newburgh

Alexandria Wojcik, Deputy Mayor, Village of New Paltz

Kevindaryán Luján, Legislator, Newburgh District 4, Orange County

Tom Wood, Councilmember, Plattsburgh

Stanley Martin, City Council Member At-Large, Rochester

Mary Lupien, Council Vice President, Rochester

Beatriz LeBron, Vice-President, RCSD board, Rochester

Veronica D. Pillar, Legislator, District 2, Tompkins County

Kiani Conley-Wilson, Councilmember, District 5, Troy

Peter Criswell, Legislator, Ulster County

Venice Ervin, Councilman, 5th Ward, Utica

Corazon Pineda, Councilmember, District 2, Yonkers

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