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.

Poughkeepsie Becomes 3rd City to Opt into Good Cause

Together with New Rent Stabilization System, Poughkeepsie’s Expansive Good Cause will Protect Nearly All Poughkeepsie Renters

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY  – The Poughkeepsie Common Council unanimously voted to opt into Good Cause Eviction Protections on Tuesday night, becoming the third city to adopt the tenant protections following the passage of state authorizing legislation in April. Tonight’s vote will expand the right to a lease renewal at a reasonable rent to the majority of tenants in Poughkeepsie, and comes on the heels of the city’s declaration of a housing emergency and adoption of rent stabilization, which will regulate rents in eligible buildings.

The strong version of Good Cause Eviction passed by the Council will protect the vast majority of Poughkeepsie tenants from rent hikes and unfair evictions, as well as guarantee lease renewals to tenants who’ve been paying rent and following their lease. Good Cause will go into effect in Poughkeepsie once signed into law by Mayor Yvonne Flowers. Like Albany and Kingston, Poughkeepsie’s version of Good Cause closed the ‘LLC loophole’ by narrowing the real estate portfolio exemption to 1 rental unit and raising the high rent exemption threshold. 

Tenants covered by Good Cause will be able to challenge rent hikes that are more than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) + 5%, (8.45% upstate as of May 2024) or 10%, whichever is lower. Landlords will have to demonstrate that they have a “Good Cause” in order to evict or non-renew a tenant, including not paying rent, lease violations, and nuisance activity. 

To be eligible for Good Cause, Poughkeepsie tenants must live in a building built before 2009; pay less than 345% of Fair Market Rent (~$4,900/month for a one bedroom); rent from a landlord who owns more than 1 rental units total; not live in an owner-occupied building with fewer than 11 units, not live in a co-op or condo; not rent their home as part of an employment agreement; not live in manufactured housing; and not live in rent stabilized, subsidized, or public housing.

Poughkeepsie had previously passed a local Good Cause law in 2021, but a judge later ruled that only the state could pass the measure, which it did on April 20, 2024. Albany voted to adopt Good Cause on June 3, and Kingston followed on July 2. The city of Ithaca is expected to vote tomorrow July 10 on a local Good Cause Eviction Law, and the City of Rochester is expected to schedule hearings on a proposed version of the law later this summer. 

On June 18, 2024 the Poughkeepsie Common Council voted to adopt the Emergency Tenant Protection Act, which authorizes the city to create a Rent Guidelines Board that will regulate rents for eligible apartments. Approximately 17% of Poughkeepsie apartments are eligible for rent stabilization (in buildings with more than 6 units built before 1974), while Good Cause will apply to a majority of renters in the city. On Thursday, July 11 organizers and legal service providers will hold a Know Your Rights workshop at the Adriance Memorial Library at 6 pm to educate tenants about their new rights.

“By organizing together with our neighbors, we can defend our homes and our communities,” said June Nemon, a Poughkeepsie renter and organizer with Mid Hudson Valley Democratic Socialists of America. “Today’s vote means that renters in the City of Poughkeepsie have protection against unjust evictions and the ability to fight back against egregious rent hikes or lack of repairs. The days when landlords can push tenants out just because they want to rent the unit for more profit are numbered.”

“Tenants and housing organizers in Poughkeepsie have been fighting for Good Cause Eviction for years. Tonight’s victory is a product of all of our hard work. This is only the beginning!” said Daniel Atonna, Political Coordinator at For the Many. 

“We won because tenants in Poughkeepsie and across the state organized and fought for this,” said Community Voices Heard Poughkeepsie member Gaelen Rubin. “I live in a building in Poughkeepsie managed by an out-of-state company that refuses to do basic, essential repairs. With these Good Cause eviction protections, we can fight back against unreasonable rent hikes and retaliatory evictions. All Poughkeepsie tenants deserve to feel safe and secure in our homes.”

“As rents skyrocketed across the Hudson Valley in recent years, tenants in Poughkeepsie fought to stay in their homes,” said Cea Weaver, Coalition Director of Housing Justice for All. “This victory is the result of years of organizing by tenants to secure the housing stability we deserve. No matter where we live, we all deserve a safe, stable and affordable home. Our coalition will keep organizing until every renter has Good Cause protections and rent stabilization.” 

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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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