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.

NEW: At Least 3.4 Million Tenants Excluded From Governor Hochul’s Good Cause

Hochul’s Good Cause Proposal Would Be Worst In the Country, Containing Exemptions Unseen In Any Other State

Over Half A Million Renters Excluded By Portfolio Exemption Alone

ALBANY  – An updated analysis from Housing Justice for All, based on new data from City Limits and JustFix, details of a housing deal that emerged Friday finds that the proposed 2024 State Budget will deny millions of renters across New York State basic protections from rent hikes and evictions, while also decimating current protections for rent stabilized tenants. The proposed exclusions and exemptions would make Governor Hochul’s version of Good Cause the worst in the country.

Though the exclusions in Governor Kathy Hochul’s version of Good Cause are complex and overlapping, taking each exclusion one by one, the coalition estimates: 

Good Cause Exemption# of Tenants Excluded
Opt-in outside of NYC﹤2,189,300 (if every major Upstate city opts in)
30-year New Construction422,410
< 200% of Fair Market Rent≤ 251,000 
Portfolio Size < 9 Units599,706 (NYC only)
Owner-occupied Building < 9 UnitsUnknown
Total exempted3,462,416 at minimum 

Cea Weaver, Coalition Director for Housing Justice for All, said, “Governor Hochul believes that 3.4 million New Yorkers don’t deserve to sleep soundly knowing they’ll be able to keep a roof over their heads. Governor Hochul’s Good Cause Eviction was written by the real estate industry to ensure that they can keep raking in record profits while New Yorkers struggle to afford the rent and stay in their homes.”

The statewide tenant coalitions’ analysis detail finds that the deal:

  • Guts Good Cause by making enforcement impossible: Requires tenants to know the size of their landlord’s portfolio — data that is impossible to find — effectively making the law unusable and meaningless.
  • Excludes at least 3.4 million tenants – over 87% of whom Good Cause was originally designed to cover – from tenant “protections” by excluding: tenants outside NYC; all buildings built after 2009; all new buildings for 30 years; all households that pay more than ~$5,000/month; tenants living in portfolio sizes of fewer than 11 units; tenants living in owner-occupied buildings of fewer than 9 units.
  • Rolls back 2019 rent laws: Incentivizes landlords to push out over 1 million rent stabilized households in order to raise rents by almost $200 a month per unit, resulting in a wealth transfer of at least $1.5 billion from rent stabilized tenants to real estate over 5 years 
  • Abandons homeless New Yorkers in shelters and on the streets: Despite support for the Housing Access Voucher Program from homeless groups, social service providers, and even real estate, this budget does not include a single dollar to move homeless New Yorkers out of shelters into stable housing while the homelessness crisis reaches historic proportions.
  • Delivers multi-million dollar tax breaks to developers through the revival of 421-a, costing New Yorkers nearly $2 billion annually in forgone tax revenue to build housing most New Yorkers cannot afford.

Tenants disrupted the Assembly Conference Tuesday to call on state leaders to stand with tenants and reject this housing deal. Tenants also protested the housing deal in front of Governor Hochul’s office in New York City Tuesday morning.

The proposal was widely blasted by members of Congress, tenants groups, lawmakers, and housing policy experts when details emerged last Friday.

Representative Jamaal Bowman said, “Everyone deserves stable and affordable housing. This deal won’t protect tenants from evictions or rent hikes. We must do better to address the housing crisis in New York.”

Representative Nydia Velázquez said, “This deal will leave too many tenants without vital protections against evictions and rent hikes. We need a housing package that addresses the housing crisis and doesn’t leave families behind.”

Senator Kristen Gonzalez said “I ran for office as a lifelong renter to bring justice to tenants who have been feeling the squeeze of rising rents for years. This version of a housing deal would exclude most of the rent burdened tenants in my district. We have to keep on fighting.”

Paul Williams, Executive Director of the Center for Public Enterprise said: “The issue with “portfolio size” policymaking is that multifamily housing is less and less owned by individuals and more and more owned by LLCs and trusts, which makes this largely unenforceable on its face.”

The Legal Aid Society said, This package is a blank check to the real estate industry and a raw deal for the countless New Yorkers from all across the state who are facing housing insecurity. Governor Hochul and the Legislature have completely squandered a moment, one that has been years in the making, to finally equip our clients with meaningful tenant protections to defend against unwarranted eviction and exorbitant rent increases. Regardless of how Albany tries to spin this as a victory, it’s far from it, and it will only exacerbate the affordability crisis and the continued displacement of New Yorkers from their homes and communities.

Housing Justice for All called it a “slap in the face” that would fail to address the housing crisis, while ensuring “the real estate industry keeps getting richer off the backs of hardworking tenants.”

For the Many, a grassroots tenant group based in the Hudson Valley, said, “It appears the Governor and Democratic leadership in the state legislature are prepared to betray voters who gave them a supermajority by rolling back critical tenant protections and leaving tenants out in the cold. The proposed ‘deal’ is no deal at all. It is a clear giveaway to corporate landlords and developers, and it is unacceptable. It is unconscionable to push people out of their homes so developers and landlords can put more money in their pockets. Accepting this deal would lead to more displacement, more evictions, and more rent increases—all so a greedy few can continue to make a profit.”

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Housing Justice for All is a statewide coalition of more than 80 organizations representing tenants and homeless New Yorkers, united in our fight for housing as a human right.

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