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Report: New York’s Do-Nothing Lawmakers Are Making the Housing Crisis Worse

And more news for your Friday.

(Hell Gate)

Breaking news, New York: Renters are getting royally screwed by landlords who raise their rent and don't fix up their apartments, and elected officials aren't doing anything substantive to protect them. According to a new Community Service Society policy brief, more than half of New York's market-rate renters faced rent hikes last year, and nothing state lawmakers did last year made a difference.

The report, entitled "No Good Cause, No Rent Pause," is a follow-up to "Good Cause for Alarm," CSS's previous brief which documented how market-rate renters are being forced into debt to pay for their housing, that they were less likely to see maintenance improvements to their apartments, and that despite all of that, the rent just keeps going up relentlessly. 

In 2023, the update finds, things only got worse. Market-rate renters were more likely to report rent increases, and while they paid more for their housing, their living conditions did not improve. More than a third of all market-rate tenants reported that they were already behind or about to fall behind on rent, and a fifth said they would likely have to move in with other tenants to afford rent.

In their conclusion, the CSS reiterated the need for Good Cause eviction protections, which the governor and the legislature have failed to enact, despite widespread support. The report called the worsening conditions for market-rate renters in New York a direct result of inaction by legislators: "New York tenants are paying the price for the legislative logjam on housing."

"Without crucial action, the crisis in tenants' rights and affordability will only get worse each year," the report states. "The legislature must act now to pass Good Cause alongside other important bills that will offer rental assistance (like the Housing Access Voucher Program), curb evictions, and create pathways to social housing (like the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act)."

At a press conference held at a Brooklyn apartment building where renters are facing imminent hikes if their rent stabilization expires, Brooklyn State Senator Julia Salazar, a lead sponsor of the Good Cause bill, said the CSS report "substantiates the warnings we have been raising all along." 

"Obstinate opposition to meaningfully addressing our housing crisis is only ratcheting up the pressure on renters, pushing more working New Yorkers out of their homes," Salazar said.

State lawmakers have until June to do their jobs.

Here are some links to kick off a gloomy Friday:

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