New York Focus, July 21, 2021
On Monday, Albany became the first municipality in New York to pass “good cause” eviction protections, which would bar landlords from evicting tenants or increasing rents more than 5 percent without justification.
Despite an extensive opposition campaign from real estate groups, nine of the fifteen members of Albany’s Common Council voted to approve the policy, while four voted “present,” one was absent, and one voted against.
Albany was the first stop in a campaign that housing rights organizers are mounting in cities across upstate New York, as New York Focus reported last week. Organizers are picking cities based on local housing conditions—but also with an eye to persuading upstate legislators seen as roadblocks to statewide good cause legislation, which died in committee during the last two sessions, that their constituents support the policy.
Monday “was a historic day, not just for the city of Albany, but for the state of New York,” said Rebecca Garrard, Albany-based legislative director at the advocacy group Citizen Action of New York. “We are very, very excited to see which cities pass this legislation next, and to see the impact of these local campaigns on the 2022 legislative session.”