Groups demand Hochul pass Good Cause eviction bill
by Jessica Meditz
Jan 12, 2022 | 766 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
New York State’s eviction moratorium ends on Saturday, and housing justice groups are hoping the Good Cause eviction bill will pass in time.

The moratorium was extended by Governor Kathy Hochul as New Yorkers continued to face COVID-related financial hardships, allowing tenants to submit documentation to avoid eviction.

The proposed legislation, would prohibit landlords from evicting tenants without good cause. Core objectives of the bill include the right to lease renewals and limitations on rent increases.

But what some activists view as a straightforward and essential bill has been a touchy subject for certain elected officials, including Hochul, who declined to mention it in her first State of the State address.

Housing Justice 4 All, a coalition with 80 groups statewide, has been fighting for the bill’s passage since 2019. Recently, the group held a candlelight vigil at the New York State Capitol and protested outside the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s gala in December, where Hochul was the keynote speaker.

“Good Cause serves as a code of conduct for landlords, meaning you need a reason to evict someone and for unconscionable rent increases,” said Andrea Shapiro, director of Program and Advocacy at Metropolitan Council on Housing. “We need to challenge these elected officials. They work for us, and if they’re ignoring us we need to get new electeds.

“They see themselves aligned with big real estate and landlords rather than the tenants in their district,” she added. “They don’t understand the bills.”

Ridgewood Tenants Union, an anti-gentrification and tenants rights organization, has been pushing Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar to co-sponsor the bill. However, the group said that Rajkumar and her team have yet to respond to their meeting requests.

Shapiro said she’s seen efforts like these being made throughout the city, and feels positive that these groups are pushing elected officials to stand up for tenant rights.

She also emphasized that every New Yorker should be reminded that no one can be evicted without going to court.

“There are about 5 million New Yorkers who have no rental protections right now, and Good Cause would make sure that they have a way of staying in their home,” she said.

“I think that’s particularly true in Queens where there are landlords who rent out multifamily houses,” she continued.

“These tenants sort of rely on landlords being nice people. We shouldn’t have to rely on someone being nice.”
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