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RENT REGULATION REFORM UPDATE

Jolie Milstein, Tue, Jul 2nd, 2019 2:22:30 am
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The Governor signed into law sweeping rent reforms that will have an immediate and widespread impact on the housing landscape statewide. NYSAFAH has been very active in discussions about rent laws for more than two years, endeavoring to find middle ground solutions that provide greater tenant protections and close loopholes, but still maintain the quality of the affordable housing stock.

While the results to that end were mixed, the legislation did include all of the reforms that NYSAFAH and its partners advocated for. The major changes include:

  • Elimination of high-rent decontrol;
  • Elimination of vacancy and longevity bonuses;
  • Allowing for preferential rent increases beyond Rent Guidelines Board increases only at vacancy;
  • Total cost for IAIs at $15,000 and reduction of the MCI annual increase cap to 2%, with associated rent increases for both of these tools being made temporary rather than permanent.
  • Allows for municipalities throughout the State to opt-in to rent stabilization if certain conditions are met in those area

Our biggest concern with the new rent law centers on the impact of changes on rent regulated housing, particularly the elimination of the vacancy bonus. To that end, NYSAFAH advocated to HPD and HDC to consider adding language into regulatory agreements for affordable housing projects that would build some flexibility into the rent structuring in the event of further low or nonexistent RGB increases. We are pleased to report that they have adopted this language.


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