Deal Struck On N.Y. Rent Control
System will continue, but wealthy will pay more
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, June 16) -- Negotiations to keep New York's rent-control laws from expiring before midnight last night went right up until the eleventh hour, then to the twelfth, and then the laws expired.
But a deal was reached during the night, and negotiators said they would send a bill to the state legislature that would extend the rent-control system for another six years while requiring wealthy tenants to pay more. In the meantime, New York rents will not be affected.
About 2.7 million New Yorkers are thought to be in 1.1 million rent-controlled dwellings, most of them in New York City.
New York Gov. George Pataki and State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, both Republicans, had declared all-out war on rent control, saying it stunts housing construction and provides no incentives for landlords to keep their properties in good condition.
This deal would keep much of the rent-control apparatus in place, but would allow landlords to boost rents much more after a long-term tenant leaves. It also dropped the amount of money tenants can earn and still have rent-control protections for expensive apartments, from $250,000 for two years in a row to a still-healthy $175,000 for two consecutive years.
It was a significant change of plan for Pataki and Bruno, who originally had called for scrapping the entire system. They said the deal would allow the rents on three-quarters of rent-controlled units to rise to their full market value in the next several years.
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