Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rent Stabilization: Why We Need To Take The State Senate Back

Today our Democratically-held Assembly will go to bat for the millions of renters in New York to pass a set of tough laws to make sure renters are taken care of. Landlords and their real estate buddies have taken too much away from the non-owning class of our citizens for too long. The price of rent has soared and the percentage of one's income dedicated to paying the rent is around 50 percent. That is unacceptable, and it is why we need these bills to pass not only the Assembly, but the Senate as well.

From The NY Daily News:

The full-throttle assault with support from tenant groups and the Working Families Party will put pressure on Senate Republicans - particularly those from the city - "to take a position," said Assembly Housing Committee Chairman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn).

A spokeswoman for Gov. Paterson, a Democrat who supported pro-tenant protections during his years as a state senator, said "if it passes the Legislature, he will sign it."

In all, eight bills will be acted upon Tuesday, including one that would no longer allow an apartment to become deregulated if the rent reaches $2,000 and the unit becomes vacant.

The legislation also gives more power to the city (if it chooses to use that power) to keep greedy landlords in check. Of course this all depends on if the State Senate approves the measures as well. It is well-known that when it comes to battles like these (rich and powerful vs. poor and abused) Joe Bruno is going to go with the former rather than do what is morally the right thing. Joe could surprise me, but so would two feet of snow falling on this warm sunny day.

So if rent stabilization is something you care about, make sure to do whatever you can to get as many Democratic challengers into office this year so we can take back the State Senate!