STATEMENT: Housing Justice for All Blasts Real Estate Industry For Blocking Housing Package

“The real estate industry is holding our state hostage”

NEW YORK – In response to ongoing negotiations on a comprehensive housing package in the 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.

“The real estate industry is holding our state hostage, refusing to negotiate in good faith. It’s clear that no housing package will pass without Good Cause Eviction — so they’d prefer to see no housing package pass at all. Now, the industry is putting roll backs to the 2019 rent stabilization reforms on the table to throw a wrench in negotiations. They’re content with leaving hundreds of thousands of families across our state struggling to keep a roof over their heads because double and triple digit rent hikes are wildly profitable for them.

“The real estate industry is a malignant presence in state politics whose only aim is to turn New York into a playground for the super wealthy, while the rest of New York suffers. It’s time for state leaders to stand up to the real estate industry and pass a comprehensive housing package in the budget, including a strong, statewide Good Cause Eviction and the Housing Access Voucher Program.”

BACKGROUND:

The consequences of not passing a housing package would be dire for renters: after the state did not pass Good Cause Eviction last year, 56% of market rate tenants in New York City faced rent hikes

According to a new analysis of lobbying disclosure data, the real estate industry’s lobbying activity has been focused on opposing tenant protections rather than advancing the production of housing, lobbying legislators and staff more than 1000 times on Good Cause Eviction alone, 

Labor unions have blasted REBNY for lowballing them in negotiations over a 421-a replacement, with the New York City District Council of Carpenters saying in a statement, “With the budget deadline rapidly approaching, REBNY must realize they have to compromise as electeds, labor unions, and tenant advocates have done or it’s time to remove them from the table.”

Senator Jabari Brisport wrote in a Tweet, “Every time housing negotiations have stalled in Albany, it’s because REBNY is at odds with progressives, or REBNY is at odds with tenant groups, or REBNY is at odds with labor unions, or REBNY…”

Last year, a housing policy expert told New York Focus that the Housing Compact failed because “[t]he industry wasn’t fully behind [the Housing Compact]. They were concentrating much more on stopping good cause eviction than helping the compact.”

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