Good Cause as written would protect renters across New York State from unjust evictions — watered down Good Cause would limit protections to New York City only

Half of non-NYC tenants currently pay +30% of income on rent

New York, NY –A new analysis released by Housing Justice for All today reveals that at least 67% of  New York State renters (872,238  households) outside of New York City may be denied the right to fight unjust evictions and unreasonable rent hikes if New York State passes an opt-in model of Good Cause Eviction (A4454/S305). Good Cause Eviction would require landlords to justify evictions and rent hikes greater than 3% or 1.5x the rate of inflation, as well as give tenants the power to challenge evictions that are arbitrary, retaliatory or discriminatory. 

Recent reporting suggests that lawmakers in Albany are considering limiting Good Cause Eviction protections to New York City, with opt-in provisions for the rest of the State. This “swiss cheese” model of Good Cause would have devastating consequences for New York State, where 50% of tenants outside of New York City are already paying over a third of their income to rent, and places like Long Island are seeing the highest rates of rent burden in the state.

“The housing crisis is impacting all of New York State. It should not matter if you live in  Allegany County or the Bronx — every tenant deserves the same protections from rent hikes and evictions. The only way to achieve this is through a statewide and universal Good Cause,” said Cea Weaver, Campaign Coordinator at Housing Justice for All. “A swiss cheese Good Cause will only wreak havoc by leaving hundreds of thousands of New York renters unprotected, and make it more difficult for courts to enforce the law even in towns and cities that have opted in. Albany should focus on passing Good Cause as written instead of creating a whole new set of problems.”

The majority of New York renters outside of the five boroughs live in rural and suburban areas. Using the 2020 Census and American Community Survey, this analysis demonstrates that even if every major city in New York State were to opt-in to Good Cause, a best case scenario, the majority of renters outside of NYC will still not have protections. 

The housing crisis in New York is acute across the state. Rents, evictions, and homelessness are at record highs. Statewide residential evictions are up 12% overall from 2022 to 2023. Corporate landlords and private equity firms are increasingly buying up housing stock across New York — especially in low-income neighborhoods of color — and evicting tenants to flip properties and make a quick profit. Without an effective Good Cause bill and other tenant protections, working and middle-class families will increasingly find themselves on the streets or unable to afford to live in New York.

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