2019 is a critical year for every single renter in New York State. The first Democratic-controlled State Legislature in a generation coincides with the expiration date for the state’s Rent Control laws this June… resulting in a major opportunity to overhaul and reform our housing laws. However, some state senators and assembly-people are dragging their feet and activists are being challenged at every turn by powerful real estate interests.

The issue extends all the way to Bay Ridge, which has the second-highest number of unregulated apartments in the state. If we want to fight for helping residents find housing security in our neighborhood, now is the time. Thus, we are joined by Andrea Shapiro of the Metropolitan Council on Housing, and Genna Goldsobel of the Fifth Avenue Committee, who will help walk us through the nine bills in Albany that are collectively known as Universal Rent Control.

Andrea Shapiro (left) and Genna Goldsobel (right) discuss the 2019 Universal Rent Control Omnibus in our Bay Ridge studio.

Show Notes

Check out the Rent Control Bills

During the episode, Mary read off some of the names for each bill in the Universal Rent Control platform. You can check out the entire platform on the Housing Justice for All website.

Contact State Senator Gounardes

State Senator Andrew Gounardes is absent from some key provisions of the Universal Rent Control platform, despite having signed a pledge during his campaign.

Senator Gounardes has since stated that some of the bills that are currently on the docket were not part of the pledge. The pledge explicitly mentions six out of the nine bills: Good Cause eviction, vacancy decontrol, preferential rent, major capital improvements, vacancy bonus and individual apartment increases. Senator Gounardes has yet to sign onto the latter four, despite being clearly visible on the pledge form.

You can contact Senator Gounardes’s Albany office by calling
(518) 455-3270. You can find additional contact information on his State Senate website.

Contact Assemblyperson Mathylde Frontus

Since our episode recorded, we are happy to report that Assemblyperson Frontus is a co-sponsor of all nine bills that comprise Universal Housing Reform, fulfilling her pledge and then some.

Please consider calling Assemblyperson Frontus’s Albany office at 518-455-4811 to thank her for supporting Universal Rent Control and helping renters across her district.

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