New York Focus, July 16, 2021
In June 2019, following a wave of progressive election victories and a months-long campaign by housing rights organizers, New York State passed its biggest expansion of tenant protections in decades. The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act closed key loopholes in New York’s rent stabilization laws and extended them across the state, allowing cities to gradually opt in.
But for organizers, the 2019 law was missing a key component: “good cause eviction,” which would bar landlords from removing a tenant without justification. Two years later, despite a concerted campaign from organizers and progressive lawmakers, the policy is no closer to passing; the bill languished in committee in both the 2020 and 2021 sessions.
So organizers have shifted their efforts to the local level, backing a wave of new good cause bills in cities spanning from Albany to the Hudson Valley to Rochester and Buffalo. The first of those bills will likely come to a vote this summer, with Albany expected to vote next Monday. If they pass, advocates hope it will not only protect tenants in the short term, but also help bring good cause out of its rut at the state level.