A sweeping statewide tenant protections measure meant to make it harder for landlords to raise rent and move forward with evictions would not negatively impact New York's housing supply, advocates for the bill in a report released Monday argued.
But opponents of the legislation contend the report is misleading and would hurt small property owners.
At issue is the creation of a statewide Good Cause Eviction law in New York. The bill is meant to bar landlords from removing tenants who are unable to pay what is deemed an unreasonable increase in rent.
The debate over affordable housing policy in New York is once again returning as lawmakers head toward the end of the legislation session, scheduled to conclude June 2. Lawmakers are debating the extension and potential changes to tax abatements in addition to the push for a good cause law.
Supporters of the legislation on Monday pointed to a report released by the Pratt Center for Community Development and Community Service Society of New York that reviewed the effect of a "Good Cause" in New Jersey that has been on the books for nearly 50 years. The law, the report found, did not have an impact on the pace of building in the Garden State.
“Strengthening tenant protections and improving the housing stock are not mutually exclusive,” said report co-author Samuel Stein, a housing policy analyst at the Community Service Society. “In fact, the two are mutually reinforcing, and we’ve got the data to prove it.”
But the Community Housing Improvement Program called the report misleading, and the New Jersey law not an accurate point of comparison.
“This report lacks any credibility. The authors of this report are clearly trying to mislead the public to advance their political agenda," said Jay Martin, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program. "It is particularly disappointing that the government continues to funnel taxpayer dollars to this institution and nonprofit organization so they can spread lies and half-truths."