Rent control is a critical tool for cities across the state to immediately stabilize housing prices and strengthen our neighborhoods. From Albany to Rochester and across the Hudson Valley, tenants are organizing to bring rent stabilization to our communities.
Rent stabilization will …
- Stop displacement.
- Keep rents from outpacing our incomes.
- Strengthen our neighborhoods.
How does rent stabilization work?
New York’s Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA) is a state law that enables localities to regulate rents in buildings with 6 or more units built before 1974. With rent stabilization, each year, a local Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) made up of tenants, property owners, and public representatives votes on the rate of allowed rent adjustment for eligible buildings. This system, already in place in 41 municipalities across New York State, protects tenants from excessive rent increases while ensuring that property owners receive a fair return on their investment. Rent stabilization gives tenants protections against evictions without a good cause, guarantees lease renewals, and empowers renters to secure repairs and maintenance.
What are the steps to win rent stabilization in my community?
- Tenants get organized!
- The city must conduct a vacancy study to determine if it qualifies for a housing emergency declaration under the ETPA.
- If the vacancy rate is under 5%, the city can declare a housing emergency and opt into rent stabilization. Rents in eligible buildings are immediately frozen at their current rates when a city opts in to the program.
- The city appoints a Rent Guidelines Board made up of two tenant representatives, two property owner representatives, and five public representatives with expertise in housing or economic issues.
- The Rent Guidelines Board holds a public hearing to hear from tenants (and landlords) about their economic conditions, before voting on a rent adjustment for one- and two-year leases.
- Rochester renters demand rent stabilization on steps of City Hall, ABC Channel 13, January 17, 2024
- Newburgh Adopts Emergency Tenant Protection Act, City & State New York, December 19, 2023
- It’s legal, there’s just no precedent’: the first US town to demand a rent decrease, The Guardian, March 8, 2023
- Kingston Becomes the First Upstate City to Adopt Rent Control, Curbed, August 2, 2022