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.

STATEMENT: Housing Justice for All Blasts Housing Deal

NEW YORK – In response to release of bill language for a state housing deal set to pass in the New York State budget, Housing Justice for All, a statewide coalition of more than 80 organizations that represents tenants and homeless New Yorkers, released the following statement from Cea Weaver, Coalition Director

“Governor Hochul did not solve the housing crisis – instead she pushed through a housing deal written by the real estate industry to ensure they keep getting richer off the backs of hardworking tenants. Now, millions of renters across the state will struggle to keep a roof over their heads as rents and evictions continue to rise. 

“Despite hard fought efforts by tenant allies in the legislature to protect renters, Governor Hochul’s Good Cause Eviction is so full of holes that landlords will drive a fleet through it. Millions of families around the state will be excluded entirely and few tenants eligible for the protections will be able to exercise their rights. 

“Not only does this budget fail to spend a single dollar to help homeless New Yorkers gain stable housing, it also puts a target on the backs of long-time rent stabilized tenants, incentivizing landlords to force elderly New Yorkers out of their homes and onto the streets. 

“New York’s housing crisis will continue – for now. But tenants and homeless New Yorkers will keep fighting together, in the legislature, in the streets, and at the ballot box, for the housing stability that all New Yorkers deserve.” 


Good Cause

According to a Housing Justice for All analysis released Wednesday, Governor Hochul’s Good Cause would exclude 3.4 million tenants across the state at minimum, while also being effectively unenforceable for the tenants who do have the protections. With new exclusions to Good Cause added at the last minute, the coalition expects the number of excluded tenants to be even greater than initially projected.

Governor Hochul and the real estate industry have made Good Cause so complex that it has gone from a right to housing stability that millions of renters could exercise into a legal defense that may help only a small segment of renters if they have a lawyer in housing court.

Rent Stabilization Rollbacks: Raising the Individual Apartment Improvement (IAI cap)

Before 2019, Individual Apartment Improvements (IAIs) incentivized making apartments vacant, through various forms of harassment and neglect of repairs, and were abused by landlords to raise rents and displace tenants. When the Tenant Protection Unit of HCR began auditing IAI increases, it found that in 40% of the cases, landlords had no proof of apartment improvements. The 2019 Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act capped IAIs at $15,000 over a 15 year period, translating to a rent increase of approximately $89 a month – a major victory to prevent displacement and preserve the supply of affordable housing.

This budget reverses that victory by raising the IAI cap and creating two tiers for IAIs: Tier 1 is a cap of $30,000 for all apartments, translating to an increase of approximately $175 a month. Tier 2 is for apartments where the tenant has lived in the unit for 25 years or more and raises the cap to $50,000, translating to an increase of approximately $330 a month. Tier 2 in particular incentivizes landlords to force out elderly tenants: tenants who’ve lived in their apartments for more than 25 years have a median income of around 38% of the citywide average, are overwhelmingly senior (162,000 households or 57%), and a third of these households include a household member with a disability (101,000 households). 

Homelessness and the Housing Access Voucher Program

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 and off the streets into stable housing. 

The Housing Access Voucher Program would have helped tens of thousands of homeless families move into stable housing, while also preventing homelessness by providing rental assistance to families at risk of eviction.

The homelessness crisis has reached historic proportions: homelessness is at a rate unseen since the Great Depression in New York City. In New York City, more than 120,000 individuals resided in homeless shelters in February 2024, and over 119,000 students experienced homelessness during the 2022-23 school year. 1 in 10 Syracuse public school students are homeless, and the City of Rochester saw a 37% increase in youth homelessness in 2023. A spike in evictions is straining the emergency housing capacity in Buffalo and other upstate communities. 


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