At the City Council Stated Meeting on March 22nd, the Council voted in favor of extending rent regulation in the City for the next three years.
Prior to the Stated Meeting, the Council Committee on Housing and Buildings held a hearing on March 19th where the pending legislation was discussed. The bill was a direct result of the findings shown in the 2017 Housing and Vacancy Survey (HVS) released by the United States Census Bureau on February 9th.
The triennial report shows the third highest vacancy rate (3.63%) across the City since the report was first issued in 1965. Additionally, the report shows a record number of new housing units, as well as a growth in jobs that has outpaced increases in rents.
The State rent laws state that any vacancy rate below 5% constitutes a “housing emergency.” Despite one of the highest vacancy rates in the last 50 years, the numbers fell enough below the threshold to ensure the Council would push for the continuation of rent regulation.
At the hearing on March 19th, RSA argued that since the City Council has the authority to extend rent regulations for all housing or for certain classes of housing, based on these findings, there is enough information to justify not extending rent regulations for the class of housing renting for $2,000 or more per month and for all rental housing located in core Manhattan.
RSA recommended that rent regulations, which we believe have failed miserably, should be phased out. Additionally, we suggested that a program of financial assistance for income-eligible households be substituted which would, once and for all, provide benefits to tenants who truly need it.
To read RSA’s testimony in full, log into your RSA account and click on “Testimony” under the Resources tab.