Chanting "housing is a human right," advocates pushing for the “Good Cause Eviction” bill protested at the New York state capitol last week. The bill would prevent landlords from evicting tenants if the tenants have not violated their leases.  

The bill, which was introduced in 2019, gives tenants a right to a lease renewal and would cap rent increases to 3% or 1.5% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is higher. 

“We definitely would love to be able to come to the table and have a conversation about housing in the state of New York,” said Democrat and bill sponsor Assemblymember Pam Hunter, of Syracuse. We’re not just talking about housing for those who are indigent. We’re talking about housing for college students, housing for people who’ve lived in their home for five, 10 years and are now — especially with greedy Wall Street firms like Blackstone — coming in and scooping up properties and raising rents (to) a high level.”

Hunter is concerned that the Good Cause Eviction bill is being mistaken for a number of other bills that have been introduced in the Legislature that would excuse non-payment of rent. 

“That’s what we heard for the past several years, especially with COVID,” Hunter said. “This [bill] does not have anything to do with folks who are not paying their rent.”

According to Hunter, the Good Cause Eviction bill would not prevent tenants who are considered a nuisance, who don’t pay their rent, or who damage property, from being evicted.